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Megaupload Faces Additional Charges

Prosecutors have also modified the indictment and added new charges. Megaupload owner Kim Dotcom and six others are in custody and are now facing, in addition to five separate conspiracy charges, nine counts of money laundering and criminal copyright infringement.

United States attorney Neil MacBride is building its case on claims that Megaupload was not a "cyberlocker" as the "vast majority" of the site's users did not have any significant capacity to store content, but more than 90 percent of visitors simply came to download content. The operation is described as deceptive, where listings of popular downloads gave Megaupload a clean image, but the money-generating traffic was largely due to illegal content that the site encouraged to be uploaded, the government said. There is also the notion the Megaupload staff uploaded a significant amount of copyrighted content.

According to the document, Megaupload only had 66.6 million total users, far fewer than the 100 million claimed by the company. Also, only 5.86 million users uploaded content. The site owners recorded somewhere between $150 and $175 million in revenue. $25 million came from online advertising. The filing states that the damage caused by Megaupload is at least $500 million. More than $50 million in cash from more than 60 bank and Paypal accounts have been seized, as well as more than a dozen luxury cars, motorcycles, and three 108-inch LCD TVs. Prosecutors hope to recoup more than $100 million in total.