German police have taken custody of about 2,500 bitcoins, worth some $30 million, that belong to the operators of movie2k.to.
The now defunct website was a search engine for movies that operated from 2008 to 2013 with it very popular in Germany at the time.
It was shut down in May 2013 by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) on grounds of copyright infringement.
Now the coder of this website has been arrested by Dresden authorities and has been in their custody since November 2019.
In addition “a real estate entrepreneur from Berlin” has also been held on “suspicion of commercial money laundering.”
“The profits generated from advertising fees and subscription trap income have been used by the two main operators since mid-2012 to buy large amounts of bitcoins.
The programmer received over 22,000 bitcoins from this. In the period from autumn 2013 to mid-2016, he mainly used the bitcoins to purchase various properties through the real estate company.”
So they say according to a very rough translation with it unclear whether they bought the coins or whether they were given them for some ‘subscription.’
Regardless the unnamed coder was clearly a hodler with authorities stating he is cooperating.
“The seized bitcoins were voluntarily released by the programmer during his public prosecutor’s interrogation in order to compensate for the damage.”
So they say with the FBI then getting involved to engage in “extensive investigations.”
It’s not clear whether the German authorities will now be hodlers too since it clearly worked very well for this coder with this very rich country probably in need of some diversification.
Also hopefully this coder gets light treatment because his skills are in very short supply and one million movies that they allegedly pirated through this site, at say $4 per movie is just $4 million, while he has now paid $30 million, so presuming he is otherwise of good character, then an independent judge may well think a week or two picking bin bags is sufficient additional punishment considering they been in jail for months now already.