The Herald reports:
Kim Dotcom is facing calls to pay $500,000 in debts by creditors who have watched him appear to embrace again an opulent lifestyle.
Seems to have enough money to fly to Huka Falls, to try and throw massively expensive free parties, to fund his own political party and to advertise himself on the back of half the buses in town. But not enough to pay people he legally owes money to.
Creditors’ frustrations have soared in recent months amid a high-profile marketing campaign for his Good Times album, helicopter trips to the Rhythm and Vines music festival and a weekend at Huka Lodge.
A spreadsheet on the court file dated January 23, 2012 stated there were 80 creditors owed between $69 and $133,916.
Documents lodged with the High Court at Auckland during 2012 show $634,000 of debt was declared by Dotcom’s lawyers, who tried to get access to money seized in the raid to pay the debts. Opposition by police kept the money tied up, with the courts accepting in August 2012 that there was no “legal ability” to release Dotcom’s restrained funds to pay debts of Megastuff, now called called RSV Holdings.
Certainly some of his funds are frozen, but as noted above he seems to have no problem paying for extravagances.
Creditors spoken to by the Herald have pointed to apparent recent indulgences by Dotcom as raising frustration with bills for work at the mansion still unpaid.
West City Electrical’s Neil Stratful said he was among many creditors who had not been paid.
So these bills are not to do with Megaupload. They are personal bills.
She said it was galling to hear Dotcom declaring he would like to support Team New Zealand when his company still owed $5000.
“When we heard that bold claim, we joked that we thought our name should be on the side of the boat. Because it’s our money.”
Dotcom had enough money to pay Martin Bradbury $8,000 a month for political advice – but not enough money to pay his electrician.
Paul Davis supplied uniforms to the staff at the Dotcom mansion and is owed $1138. The offer of around 10 per cent of the total owed was “completely unacceptable” given Dotcom at one stage was granted a personal monthly allowances from seized funds of $20,000.
“I understand Dotcom cannot be held legally liable for this, there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Mr Davis. But he said Dotcom had a court-ordered allowance of $20,000 a month from seized funds – money he believed could be used to clear debts.
“We were a relatively small creditor but it irritates me every time I see him on the back of a bus, or on the news, and people saying what a wonderful guy he is.”
I’m sure it is. A good question to ask Dotcom is whether he is using the $20,000 a month to pay any of his debts at all?
Like many of the other creditors, he said he was a small business owner who had borne the brunt of the economic downturn by making personal financial sacrifices in order to keep their employees in a job.
“We’ve been out of pocket for two years now. Every time he comes on TV, he gets me going.”
Good this story has finally been run. One could ask why so long.
UPDATE: On a related issue today the Court of Appeal has ruled the search warrants used in the raid were valid, over-ruling the High Court. They ave said some minor defects did not invalidate them.