In a hearing over Megaupload’s motion to dismiss the criminal case against the company on Friday, the U.S. Government claimed it can keep Megaupload’s assets even when the case is dismissed.
The U.S. sees Megaupload’s property as proceeds of criminal activity.
Ars reports that the Government says it can freeze Megaupload’s assets while waiting for a decision in the extradition case against the site’s founder Kim Dotcom.
Keeping the assets appears to be a key strategy of the authorities. Previously the U.S. Government objected to the release of more funds to Megaupload so the company can pay its attorneys.
Returning Megaupload’s assets is no different from handing back stolen money to a bank robber, US Attorney Neil MacBride argued last month.
“The Government’s interest in forfeiture is virtually indistinguishable from its interest in returning to a bank the proceeds of a bank robbery; and a forfeiture-defendant’s claim of right to use such assets to hire an attorney, instead of having them returned to their rightful owners, is no more persuasive than a bank robber’s similar claim.”