In 2010, New Zealand immigration officials decided the potential money mattered more than the negative press from allowing Kim Dotcom to move to and reside in their country. When Billionaire, Dotcom filed for residency and his application was in consideration by New Zealand officials, the founder of MegaUpload had promised to sponsor a huge fireworks show in the country for $600,000 and was making a number of contributions to local charities.
New Zealand officials agreed to approve his residency request after he threatened to move to Canada or Australia. An immigration official, Chris Biggs said, “The applicant has already made a substantial economic contribution to New Zealand through his spending here and will make further investments. I consider that these benefits and potential benefits outweigh the negative aspects flowing from the applicant’s convictions.”
This year, authorities in the United States have charged Dotcom with racketeering and are seeking his extradition from New Zealand. Dotcom, through his website, MegaUpload, has facilitated millions of illegal downloads on the web. The site was shut down in January. He already has criminal convictions for computer fraud and manipulating stock prices in Germany and for failing to disclose information to Securities officials in Hong Kong. Dotcom has been fined but has so far been able to avoid any time in jail.