FBI outlines money trail in Dotcom case
One of Kim Dotcom's co-accused spent 82,500 euros buying the internet tycoon's mother a Mercedes for Christmas, a court has been told.
Judge Nevin Dawson is hearing evidence in Auckland District Court on whether Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk should be surrendered to US authorities.
Dubbed the "Mega Conspiracy" by the FBI, US authorities allege the four made US$175 million by facilitating and encouraging piracy on their file storage website, Megaupload, and related sites.
Today, Christine Gordon QC described the way the four men had moved the money the site was making between Hong Kong, New Zealand and the US.
It demonstrated the money laundering charges against the "conspirators", she said.
One of the transfers included Batato moving money to buy a Mercedes-Benz ML350 for Dotcom's mother in Germany as a Christmas present in 2009.
Several others included paying more than US$3.6m for yacht rentals in the Mediterranean Sea.
Earlier in the week Ms Gordon described how the group had paid uploaders of copyright infringing videos, despite knowing the material was illegal - including one who was paid US$50,000.
The total spent on the payments was US$3m, the FBI evidence said.
The four men face charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, wire fraud and two kinds of criminal copyright infringement based on an FBI investigation going back to 2010.
If extradited and found guilty in the US, they face decades of jail time.