Web's New Colorful Bad Boy: 'Kim Dotcom'
German-born Kim Schmitz leads a lavish lifestyle
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2012 8:42 AM CST

(Newser) – The high-profile crackdown this week on MegaUpload.com on allegations of online piracy has brought the larger-than-life exploits of its founder, Kim Dotcom, into the spotlight. We already knew he had a safe room. Some other highlights collected from the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Independent:

  • That name: The German-born 38-year-old changed his name from Kim Schmitz in recent years in honor of the field that made him a mansion-dwelling multimillionaire in New Zealand.
  • Vanity: His license plates include GOD, HACKERS, GUILTY, STONED, and MAFIA. They go on some of his 18 luxury cars. (See the video at left of Dotcom taking part in a road race and bragging about bribing police.)
  • Past: He made his name as a hacker in Berlin in the 1990s, and was convicted of insider trading in 2002. He tried and failed with various companies before striking gold with the file-sharing site MegaUpload.
  • Quote: "Find me a Wikipedia profile of a person that is worse than mine and I will buy you dinner," he once wrote.
  • Big bang: He personally funded the fireworks show for Auckland, New Zealand, in 2010.

  • Celebs: He has reached out with some success to Hollywood to try to legitimize his site. MegaUpload listed hip-hop producer Swizz Beats (the husband of Alicia Keys) as CEO, though it's unclear just how official that was.
Click for more on the MegaUpload raid.