High Court gives Dotcom deadline to reveal assets

Kim Dotcom has less than a month to disclose what his assets really are, the High Court at Auckland has ruled.

Justice Patricia Courtney has allowed an urgent application from major Hollywood studios for an order to reveal where Mr Dotcom’s money is coming from.

Last week the lawyer for the movie studios, Chapman Tripp partner Matt Sumpter, said his clients want a global picture of Mr Dotcom’s assets because it is clear he lives extravagantly.

Mr Dotcom has also donated $3.25 million to the Internet Party he founded, promised a $US5 million bounty for whistleblower information that will help his criminal or civil cases, and spent millions more on his music career. 

Negotiations over freezing orders have begun in the case, which is running in parallel with recording studios, but Mr Sumpter said the parties need to know how much money Mr Dotcom really has.

The fact that Mr Dotcom “lived extravangantly” and was bankrolling the Internet Party were evidence he has more assets than disclosed, it is claimed.

In a decision released today, Justice Courtney found the studios have a good arguable case for damages in excess of $11.8 million, which is the value of New Zealand assets currently subject of criminal restraining orders.

She ruled Mr Dotcom must serve an affidavit outlining the nature, extent and value of his assets by August 20, wherever they are located.

“The fact that Mr Dotcom is making very substantial payments such as to the Internet Party and is making statements of intent regarding other substantial payments leads me to conclude that there is a danger that any judgment obtained by the applications will go unsatisfied partly or wholly by Dotcom disposing of assets.”

The movie studios together allege Mr Dotcom and his associates made more than $US175 million through Megaupload, which sold premium accounts and dished out cash incentives to uploaders but delivered no money to artists or their record labels or movie studios.

That action has been stayed, or held off, pending other court actions against the German internet entrepreneur.

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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