He looked like a character Hollywood might produce: a giant, swashbuckling, black-suited jet-setter, bikinied babes on his arm, yachts, planes and exotic cars at his disposal. He displayed a villainous visage and a shotgun in his publicity photos, and his fleet boasted “GOD” and “EVIL” on license tags.
But the story of Kim Dotcom, 38, a German born as Kim Schmitz who liked to call himself King Kimble, reaches far beyond a cartoonish persona, self-promotion and a criminal record of pump-and-dump stock fraud.
The former computer hacker is the principal figure behind Megaupload, which U.S. prosecutors charge was a global empire that reaped a mega-fortune from illegal digital distribution of movies, songs and other copyright works.
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