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The United States' government has filed a formal request for the extradition of Megaupload's founder with New Zealand.
MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom's extradition papers have been filed by the United States in New Zealand, the New Zealand Herald reported.
The US government filed an application with New Zealand's North Shore district court on Friday to have Dotcom sent back to the United States to be tried, BBC News reported. An extradition hearing has been scheduled for August 20.
Extradition papers have also been filed for three of MegaUpload's senior partners: Finn Batato, the chief marketing officer; Mathias Ortmann, co-founder and director; and Bram van der Kolk, who oversaw programming, Bloomberg reported.
38-year-old Dotcom and his staff face charges of breaching copyright, racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud, among others, BBC reported. The wildly popular file-sharing website is estimated to have cost copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue, according to BBC.
Dotcom, a German national, was released on bail less than two weeks ago, despite claims by the US that he was a flight risk, BBC reported.
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Prosecutors, who filed a revised indictment February 17 in Alexandria, Virginia, accuse Dotcom of raking in over $175 million in criminal proceeds from pirated film, music, book and software files, Bloomberg reported. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the indictment's racketeering and money laundering charges, according to Bloomberg.
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Crown Law is handling the case on behalf of the US Government, the Herald reported. The law firm had 45 days after raids on Dotcom's mansion and other sites across Auckland in January to file for his extradition.
Dotcom says he is innocent, arguing that US officials are attempting to "placate Hollywood" with his prosecution, CNET reported. In January, President Barack Obama criticized antipiracy legislation, upsetting many in the entertainment industry who give financial and political support the Democratic party, according to CNET.
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