Mona Dotcom in trouble

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Mona Dotcom’s claim of 50% of Kim Dotcom’s wealth is based on three ideas.  One, that she has had no part in any crime, two, that the assets claimed aren’t a product of crime, and three, that she is going to divorce Dotcom so that New Zealand’s “no fault” divorce.

It is not surprising that the lawyers acting against Dotcom don’t see it that way.

a new filing the U.S. states that Mona currently has no standing to make such a claim, arguing that her interest under New Zealand law remains “unquantifiable” until she obtains a New Zealand court order defining the extent of her marital property.

Noting that Mona herself previously claimed to have been “completely financially dependent” on Kim Dotcom since their marriage, the U.S. states that Mona has failed to provide evidence that she has “dominion and control over the properties” which give her standing to make a claim.

Highlighting Mona’s claim to one of the seized vehicles, the U.S. notes that “Mona Dotcom cannot even drive — and without that ability, it would seem nearly impossible for her to establish that she had dominion and control over the vehicles.”

However much I like to wish difficulties on Mrs Dotcom, I’m not sure if the latter statement has much credibility.  I can definitely own a plane, even though I can’t fly one.  

Also at issue is the value of the 50% claim itself. According to the U.S. government, Mona has already received assets “far in excess” of the value of her claim from her marriage thus far.

“Mona Dotcom has already received more than any possible marital interest claim from releases from the New Zealand Courts, as well as from a direct transfer to her from Kim Dotcom of assets not restrained by this Court,” the U.S. argues.

According to the filing, through successful court action the Dotcom’s have obtained 40% of the assets previously seized in New Zealand.

“As of December 2014, more than NZ$1 million (currently US$770,000) in restrained funds were released to the Dotcoms as ‘living expenses’ by the New Zealand courts,” the filing reads.

“An additional approximate NZ$6 million (US$4.64 million) in legal fees have already been released to the Dotcoms. Mona Dotcom has benefited from the attacks on the restraints and has continued to enjoy a lavish lifestyle as a result.”

Assets were hardly restrained when $6M in legal fees, $4M in Internet Party funding, $1M in Good Times promotions and all the other “smaller” expenses are added up.

The U.S. also references assets in cloud-storage service Mega which were gifted to Mona by husband Kim. The 17% share is estimated to be worth NZ$35 million.

“This gift, combined with the apparent proceeds of previous sales of stock in Mega Limited and [music service] Baboom, means that Mona Dotcom has been provided and still controls assets well in excess of the approximately NZ$23 million she is trying to claim in this proceeding as her marital assets.

“Because she has already been provided those assets, her claim that she is still owed half the interest in Kim Dotcom’s restrained assets cannot be established under New Zealand law.”

The Dotcom’s split may be real as far as the marriage is concerned, but it has provided the couple with a great vehicle for tying up assets and trying to save a portion of it as owned by Mona, with perhaps a verbal agreement between the Dotcom’s that Kim will be ‘gifted’ some of it back at some time when he finds himself in a tight spot.  He is, after all, the father of the children.

But according to government’s lawyers, it may not come to that. They say that Mona was one of the incorporators of the “Megateam Corp.” in the Philipines and had no less than six separate Megaupload accounts associated with her email addresses.

“Mona Dotcom’s claim is insufficient to give her standing because she cannot establish any concrete injury,” the U.S. concludes. “Until the New Zealand courts quantify whatever property interest she may have, the nature of her property interest is at best, inchoate and murky.”

Finally, it appears the U.S. is also concerned about the amount of cash being burned through by the Dotcoms. In December Kim Dotcom filed a request for further legal expenses (estimated by the U.S. as likely to run into “millions”) plus additional living expenses (US$77,000 per month) to be released. That hearing will take place next week.

They are the ‘brokest’ rich couple I know of, and going on form, this whole mess is designed, rather than one that developed through circumstance.

 

– Andy, Torrentfreak


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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