Justice Dept. seizes Megaupload’s sweet rides, big-screen TVs


German internet millionaire Kim Schmitz looks on as he arrives before a trial at a district court in Munich in this May 27, 2002 file photo. Internet content hosting website Megaupload.com founders Schmitz, also known as Kim Dotcom and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, and Mathias Ortmann were arrested with two other company executives in Auckland, New Zealand, by local authorities on January 19, 2012 and will face extradition hearings, the U.S. Justice Department said. They were charged by U.S. authorities for a massive copyright infringement scheme, the latest skirmish in a battle against piracy of movies and music. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz/Files (GERMANY - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY CRIME LAW POLITICS HEADSHOT) (TOBIAS SCHWARZ/REUTERS)
January 20, 2012

Megaupload’s executives weren’t only tied to music superstars through chief executive Swizz Beatz — they were living like them, too.

According to the Justice Department indictment of the file-sharing site’s executives, the seven people charged in the case were doing very well for themselves.

Intriguing tidbits are beginning to emerge, including a list of the assets seized by the federal government.

In addition to a multiple bank accounts and PayPal accounts, the government seized more than 20 vehicles including 15 Mercedes-Benzes, a Lamborghini, a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a 1957 Cadillac El Dorado, a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible and a 2010 Maserati GranCario registered to Megaupload’s chief marketing officer, Finn Batato.

Some of the vehicles sported unusual vanity license plates, such as “God,” “Stoned,” “Mafia,” “Hacker” and “Guilty.”

Other items of interest: seven big-screen televisions, all at least 65 inches wide; an artwork identified as a “Predator Statue”; and a jet ski.

The government seized at least $175 million in assets from the defendants, the document said.

Related stories:

Federal indictment claims popular Web site Megaupload.com shared pirated material

Megaupload shutdown: SOPA supporters versus Alicia Keyes, P. Diddy?

Justice Department Web site inoperable after feds seize Megaupload

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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