Good safe rooms apparently don't make good neighbors.
Kim Dotcom, the ostentatious founder of Megaupload who was arrested last week when police infiltrated a safe room in his sprawling New Zealand mansion, may have rattled the nerves of his neighbors long before his high-profile arrest.
In an email obtained by the Guardian that Dotcom allegedly wrote, the ex-con jokes to his neighbors about hacking into their email, "infiltrating" their families and his ties to criminals.
According to the Guardian, residents of the posh neighborhood became concerned when they found that Dotcom, who was previously convicted of hacking, insider trading and embezzlement, was moving into the neighborhood.
In an effort to voice their concerns, the neighbors sent an email to the property's owner, who then sent the email to Dotcom. He then replied to the email, introducing himself, describing his past criminal exploits and the "benefits" of "having a criminal Neighbor [sic] like me."
(Click over to the Guardian to read the email in its entirety.)
France Komoroske, who was one of Dotcom's neighbors, told the Guardian that Dotcom's email response "scared the hell out of everybody."
But another neighbor told Reuters that she wasn't necessarily frightened of Dotcom, whom she said kept a low profile.
"We see him driving around, but he keeps to himself and we're quite close neighbours," Libbi Darroch told Reuters. "I've never seen him walking or anything. I think he does all his business in his mansion. All I thought was he had a funny number plate."
Indeed, a sampling of license, or "number" plates found on various Mercedes and Rolls Royce vehicles belonging to Dotcom read "EVIL," "HACKER," "GOD," "GUILTY" and "STONED," according to Jalopnik. During a raid on the property, authorities seized several of these luxury cars, believed to be worth a total of $5 million in value, according to Reuters.
Dotcom, whose given name is Kim Schmitz, maintains citizenship in both Germany and Finland.
Before being arrested, he lived a lavish, playboy lifestyle, partying all over the world and posting pictures and videos of his escapades online.
One YouTube video shows him gleefully driving a Mercedes through a golf course while enraged golfers apparently chase after the car.
Dotcom was arrested on Friday, and according to The New York Times, he and six others face charges that include conspiracy and copyright infringement.
The Wall Street Journal reports that he remains in custody pending a decision on whether or not he will be released on bail.