Earlier this year the U.S. Government won its civil forfeiture case against Megaupload and Kim Dotcom.
As a result the authorities now claim possession of Kim Dotcom’s bank accounts, cars, art and other property worth dozens of millions of dollars.
Last month Megaupload’s legal team appealed the District Court’s decision, pointing out that the court denied the defendants’ basic rights and violated due process.
A few hours ago the U.S. Government responded to the claims. In a lengthy 59-page response brief United States Attorney Dana Boente argues that the District Court rightfully labeled Dotcom and his colleagues as fugitives.
The brief also explains why the Department of Justice decided to file a civil forfeiture case against Megaupload and Dotcom, while the criminal proceedings were still ongoing.
The U.S. feared that Dotcom would get his money back if the DoJ failed to file a civil case. Under New Zealand law foreign restraining orders are only valid for two years, with a possible one-year extension. This extension would have run out on April 18th of this year.
“Therefore, the United States had no realistic alternative to filing its civil forfeiture action if it was to obtain any financial relief for the victims of the Mega Conspiracy,” Boente writes.
Tucked away in a footnote United States Attorney Boente describes the case as a last resort to…