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.

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  • 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. (Read more Kim Dotcom stories.)

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