Kim Dotcom, Pirate King

Is Kim Dotcom a criminal mastermind, or the world's most entertaining scapegoat? The ridiculous rise and fall of the file-sharing pirate king
Photograph by Star Traks

After renting an $18 million estate in the emerald hills of Coatesville, New Zealand, Kim Dotcom e-mailed his neighbors. The mastermind of Megaupload, one of the world’s most popular file-sharing sites, introduced himself as a convicted computer hacker and insider trader and listed some of the perks of having a “criminal” down the block. “Our newly opened local money laundering facility can help you with your tax fraud optimization,” Dotcom wrote in the Apr. 21, 2010, e-mail. “Our network of international insiders can provide you with valuable stock tips.” Also, Dotcom wrote, his acquaintance with “far worse” crooks “can help you whenever you have to deal with a nasty Neighbor.” Then he added “in all seriousness” that he and his family loved New Zealand and had “come in peace.” He invited the neighbors to stop by for coffee, adding, “Don’t forget to bring the cocaine (joke).”

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