Revealed: Kim Dotcom's 'intimidating' emails to neighbours
UPDATE: Dotcom Mansion neighbour France Komoroske told NBR this afternoon that she was unfazed by the illegal guns found on the raided property Friday.
Asked whether she would still take up Kim Dotcom's offer to come around for coffee (see email end of story), Ms Komoroske replied:
"Sure, I'd take him up on his invitation if he hasn't retracted it."
Certainly, there would be a lot to talk about.
Ms Komoroske said at the time Mr Dotcom was applying for Overseas Investment Office approval to buy the mansion (owned by Chrisco founders Richard and Ruth Bradley), she contacted the OIO to make it aware of her concerns, and details of the German millionaire's colourful past.
The US ex-pat retired lawyer told NBR that the OIO gave her the run-around, refusing to directly address key points. However, one thing's clear from her lengthy 2010 correspondence to and from the OIO, sighted by NBR: it would not have helped Mr Dotcom's bid to buy the mansion (which was ultimately declined).
9am: A retired lawyer living near Kim Dotcom's rented mansion in Coatesville, just north of Auckland, says some in the community were intimidated by an email the pirate-accused sent to his neighbours.
France Komoroske, who lives only a few hundred metres from the mansion, told NBR, "This all started because of Kim's driving habits."
Mr Dotcom was - literally - scaring the horses in the affluent rural lifestyle suburb by "racing a Mercedes with a big rumbling engine down the road. It sounded like a rocket ship. Kim wouldn't slow down. He terrified our horses when we were riding down our road, and I was afraid one of them would run over one of our cats while they were racing back and forth," Ms Komoroske said.
She and her partner Kevin Crossley became further concerned after reading newspaper articles about their new neighbour, who has a previous conviction for insider trading.
"I began to wonder how he had gotten permission to live in New Zealand given his criminal record and background."
Ms Komoroske put her concerns in an email to neighbours. One forwarded it to the mansion's owners - Chrisco co-founders Richard and Ruth Bradley - who in turn forwarded the email to Mr Dotcom, apparently leaving all the neighbours' email addresses in the forwarded correspondence.
Mr Dotcom responded with a reply to all his neighbours.
Ms Komoroske said although Mr Dotcom was attempting humour with his email (which she fowarded to NBR; below), some did not take it that way.
"I took it as a joke and I wasn’t scared. But it was intimidating to some people who thought he might do them harm so backed off at that point."
The email, dated April 21, 2010, reads:
As you all know I recently moved into the Neighborhood and I am a former hacker. Well I was just hacking into a local mail server and guess what I found.
First of all let me assure you that having a criminal Neighbor like me comes with benefits.
1. Our newly opened local money laundering facility can help you with your tax fraud optimization.
2. Our network of international insiders can provide you with valuable stock tips.
3. My close personal relations with other (far worse) criminals can help you whenever you have to deal with a nasty Neighbor.
In all seriousness: My wife, two kids and myself love New Zealand and 'We come in peace'.
Fifteen years ago I was a hacker and 10 years ago I was convicted for insider trading. Hardly the kind of crimes you need to start a witch hunt for. Since then I have been a good boy, my criminal records have been cleared, and I created a successful Internet company that employs 100+ people.
All the media has to report are old news. Why? Because I have chosen to avoid the media. Just look what the media did to this Neighborhood. Scary.
Now you can make a choice: 1: Call Interpol, the CIA, and the Queen of England and try to get me on the next plane out of New Zealand. 2: Sit back, relax and give me a chance to do good for New Zealand and possibly the Neighborhood.
If you feel like it come over for coffee sometimes. And don't forget to bring the cocaine (joke).
All the best, Kim.
The above email was first revealed in a story by the UK's Guardian newspaper.
This morning, after speaking to NBR, Ms Komoroske forwarded the original missive from Kim Dotcom, plus a never-before-seen follow-up in which he offers to met her for coffee.
While the retired lawyer was not intimitated, and could see Mr Dotcom's original message as an attempt at levity, another neighbour - "an older gentleman with no sense of humour about the affair" - was sufficiently alarmed about the original email that he took the matter to Prime Minister John Key's office, and Interpol.
Ms Komoroske said it was clear to her that Mr Dotcom had discovered the neigbours' email addresses simply by scrolling down the message thread - and that the hacking reference was a joke. But the neighbour who called Mr Key's office took it seriously, thinking the alleged hacker had gained access to the community's inboxes (ironically, it's now become clear that the FBI was accessing the German's inbox).
Mr Dotcom made it a condition of the meeting that the Interpol-calling neighbour accompany Ms Komoroske.
He refused, and the meeting never took place.
The second email read:
Today after 5PM would be fine. Just one condition.
You are welcome here if you also bring head-prosecutor Bruce Conyngham, your expert in Neighborhood warfare.
It would be nice to meet the two leaders of the Coatesville Inquisition movement in person.
P.S. Do you really think I hacked your emails? Nonsense. One of my agents has infiltrated your family :-)
ALL QUIET IN COATESVILLE: Dotcom Mansion yesterday. (Photos above and top of story: Chris Keall; click to zoom.)
When NBR visited Dotcom Mansion yesterday, there was not a soul to be seen, with no one around the household, nor even a security guard at the gatehouse, to break the silence.
The community appreciates the difference.
"The day before yesterday was the first day in a long time that we could ride our horses safely down the road, knowing that Kim and his posse are locked up in Mt. Eden Prison," Ms Komoroske said.