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Dotcom's wife wants $40,000 a month for another year

Kim Dotcom's wife wants the Crown to allow a living allowance of $40,000 a month for at least a year, as the internet mogul's extradition hearing stretches further into the distance.

Since the High Court first made orders concerning the Dotcom's living expenses in April, the couple have been receiving an allowance of $20,000 a month from their restrained funds.

On top of that, they were also granted $40,000 a month to cover security and domestic staff costs – a total of $60,000. 

But the $300,000 fund that money was being released from each month has now run out, Mona Dotcom's lawyer Aaron Lloyd told Auckland High Court today.

He said Mrs Dotcom is now asking for just half the $40,000 monthly sum they say they need to cover security and domestic staff cost ($20,000), having struck a deal to defer payments to the security firm they employ.

The security firm will be paid at a later date, once Mr Dotcom's new business is up and running, Mr Lloyd said.

Mr and Mrs Dotcom are both present at Auckland High Court as the application is being made before Justice Judith Potter, who has returned from her retirement to hear the application.

Mr Dotcom's vast bank accounts and assets remain frozen while he fights extradition to the US, where authorities want to charge him for criminal copyright infringement and money laundering of some $US500 million in relation to his file-sharing website Megaupload.

Mr Lloyd said when the original orders for living expenses were made in April, it was expected Mr Dotcom's extradition hearing would be heard in August.

That hearing has now been delayed until at least March and the couple needed the allowance to continue for another year, by which stage it is hoped he will have gained citizenship, Mr Lloyd said.

Justice Potter, who made the original orders for living allowances, asked what the $40,000 monthly allowance had been spent on.

Mr Lloyd said it had all been used to pay security and domestic staff at their home which includes nannies, cooks, maids and a butler each.

"This is money that has gone into the pockets of the employees," Mr Lloyd said. "If these orders aren't made there are consequences on other people."

In considering the application this afternoon, Justice Potter has to establish reasonableness of the Dotcom's request.

Crown lawyer Anne Toohey said the $40,000 allowance the Dotcom's were seeking each month was more than 2.5 times the amount the average New Zealand household lived on a month.

Staff expenses should not count as living costs, Ms Toohey said.

The High Court has already allowed Mr Dotcom $6 million from a seized government bond to pay his lawyers and cover his lifestyle costs.

In August, Justice Potter allowed Mr Dotcom access to $3.6 million for his legal costs, $123,000 for his wife’s legal costs and $1 million for rent due on his Coatesville mansion. This money was additional to the monthly allowance.

The money was released from a $10 million government bond, which was seized by police when he was arrested on copyright charges in January.

The judgment also allowed Mr Dotcom to sell some of his prized cars, including a 2009 Mercedes E500 and a 2008 Rolls Royce Coupe.

Today, Mr Lloyd said six of those cars had been sold in the last two days, for a total of $363,000, which would top up restrained funds available through the Official Assignee to $1 million.

That should help to meet the allowance being sought, he said.

Justice Potter adjourned proceedings until she receives further evidence from Mr Lloyd and Ms Toohey to help her consider the application.

This includes an update from the Official Assignee assessing the Dotcom's financial situation out to November 2013, an update on staff numbers and where they are hosued and a breakdown of spending from a RaboDirect bank account to which the $40,000 monthly allowance was released.

More by Georgina Bond

Comments and questions

So $40k per month is "2.5 times what the average NZ household lives on per month", according to Ms Toohey? I didn't realise the average NZ family/household pulled in $16k/month or $192k/annum - looks like another example of the legal profession showing close contact with & knowledge of what actually happens in real NZ.

It's their feking money ! We make a complete shambles of this whole affair. We bent & kissed the asses of the FBI and now we look like complete chumps. They are going to get their money back anyway, just let them have it and limit the collateral damage. Then we can all move on to more interesting and important isues...

'More than' 2.5 times the average. - that's quite different than simply saying 2.5 times the average.

I think that as a country we need to help these unfortunate people. Maybe a telethon or something similar, just to help them get through....

What a great idea ! I can tell the spirit of charity and xmas is big in your heart for where else in the democratic world would we have witnessed the unfortunate spectacle of seeing someone losing all their worldly possessions, losing all their money to the state without any conviction of NZ law.

I just wish this three ring circus would leave NZ/. A large number of us dont want him here. The mninister who gave him residency status should also be dealt with via a publicly televised flogging (second thoughts lets add all the journos who have banged on about dot com to the flogging list)

$40k a month living expenses? Seems reasonable.....

Agreed - keeps a good number of people employed a bit longer in Coatesville.

Wow John Key isn't looking too flash at present playing suck up to Mr Obama who probably said words to the effect mates in Tinsel Town want this bloke hung up a xmas tree ...and Johnny boy replies ..How high.
What a joke that our very own PM who was a party to impoverishing a NZ resident in a massive Hollywood style raid, shutting down his business, has the gall to declare on tv that Dotcom should sort it out himself in the lions den stateside. Bleedin hell and this man is running our country.

Mr Schmidts can easily solve his living in "poverty" claim,all he has to do is buy a ticket to USA and as he has done nothing wrong ,he should get all USA charges against him withdrawn.When he gets back to NZ his funds should be released .As he is in breach of his NZ VISA ,as alleged he will be fast tracked out of NZ post haste.

Either charge him with something and give him a damn trial (now) or, give him his damn money back. What on earth has happened to this country where one of its residents is treated in such a disgusting, appalling and unlawful way? We should hang our heads in shame.

You can hang your head in shame. I'm not going to join you, though. If he's got nothing to fear let him go to the States where he'll get a decent defence team and receive a fair trial. What you and his other supporters are implying is that he won't get one and as such you're also suggesting that many of the felons locked up over there for economic crimes, especially the foreign ones charged with copyright piracy, were also denied fair trials. How do you feel about foreign nationals becoming wealthy by stealing expensively developed NZ technology that puts NZ firms out of business? This is what we're dealing with here, but too many Kiwis seem to have drunk the Dotcom Kool-Aid act and think he's an innocent player up against an evil superpower.

...and who is going to pay his defence team after the NZ govt has stripped him of all his worldly goods and wrecked his business ?
Your lack of knowledge about this man and the business he was running is extraordinary going by the reasons you give.

So if North Korea want to charge you with violating their laws you'll go there willingly to defend yourself under their laws?

This is about jurisdiction and process, and whose laws prevail. The underlying issues are just distractions. Law is primarily procedural, and its key function is (or ought to be) affording everyone the benefits of its procedural protection. Sure, it means some issues aren't going to have a legal remedy, but that's the price we pay for civilisation, and people are resourceful and inventive and we have to find other ways of resolving the underlying issues. Ways that don't involve using force to take people's assets, raid their homes, lock them up and remove them from their homes and send them to the other side of the world, from where they may not come back for many decades, if at all.

Nailed it in one !

If their money has run out then they should be granted legal aid like the rest of the poor sods in NZ which is held as security over their assts (if there are any). If they earn over the legal aid threshhold of I something like $18,000 per year then they should get no assistance like everyone else.

It's their money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Key has stuffed this up badly. We need the jobs and growth Dotcom can generate. Perhaps we can swap key to FBI for Dotcom?? In fact they can have the entire beehive.

Yes, this is what I can't get my head around. If Dotcom has the funds why can't he continue to live in the manner he and his family can afford. It has to be galling for Dotcom to have to respond to questions about his living expenses. Surely not all his wealth can be considered "ill-gotten gains".

It’s ironic that dotcom, being an opportunist, took advantage of an un-regulated new human invention ( the internet) just as law of the jungle would dictate when a new environment opens up. Then those who run the old law of the jungle (however regulated) never anticipated its affect revert back to un-moralistic draconian means to protect their niche.

History says that they should have embraced him and turned him into something useful to maximise this new environment for them.

The wrong path has been chosen and now who knows the lengths these people will go to in their war of absolute control and indefinite greed ....

For months now I have listened to people baying for Dotcoms head to be delivered pronto to the yanks and consistent in believing he should get on a plane to prove his innocence.
Fascinating to also observe these very same people were demonstrably a complete doofus at anything IT by my reckoning and not a single one I challenged could accurately tell me the business method that he was running let alone the music venture Dotcom was ready to launch that put the wind right up the media moguls. I think that when it comes to technology most kiwis are still in the middle ages and we may as well tell everyone mobile phones and the internet works by magic.

If I had to live with this "person", I would want a lot more than $40,000 a month.

JM painted in his own corner still tossing weeny jibes.

These people are not average. They starting that elusive $1B business John Key & Co are looking for and then when they found the $1B business they clumsily destroyed it. Yet John Key & Co like all politicians think they can cultivate $1B businesses with taxpayer money and civil servants!