Mega-admission of Megaupload guilt, rapid sentence for Nomm

After surrendering to the US authiortities in Virginia last week – see A plea deal against Dotcom? – ex-Megaupload programmer Andrus Nõmm has pleased guilty and been sentenced to a year and a day in prison.

This isn’t a good sign for Kim Dotcom and the other accused who are still fighting extradition.

Ars Technica reports: Megaupload programmer pleads guilty, sentenced to a year in prison

Andrus Nõmm “was aware that copyright-infringing content was stored” on-site.

Federal prosecutors have achieved their first guilty plea and prison sentence in the Megaupload criminal case that has dragged on for over three years.

Andrus Nõmm—who was arrested this week in Virginia after years of fighting extradition in the Netherlands—pleaded guilty to felony copyright infringement. He was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison, according to a press release issued by the Department of Justice on Friday.

American criminal charges against the six co-defendants related to Megaupload, including Kim Dotcom, still remain pending. All of the Megaupload defendants (most notably founder Kim Dotcom) have been battling extradition and fighting the government’s case from outside US borders. (Ars profiled Dotcom’s extradition efforts last month.)

Prosecutors also added that Nõmm “agreed to waive his extradition hearing in the Netherlands, where he was arrested in January 2012, and plead guilty in the United States.”

And Nomm has agreed with prosecutirs that he knew that Megaupload were knowingly flaunting copyright. The Department of Justice press release details:

In court papers, Nomm agreed that the harm caused to copyright holders by the Mega Conspiracy’s criminal conduct exceeded $400 million. He further acknowledged that the group obtained at least $175 million in proceeds through their conduct.

Megaupload.com had claimed that, at one time, it accounted for four percent of total Internet traffic, having more than one billion total visits, 150 million registered users and 50 million daily visitors.

In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Nomm admitted that he was a computer programmer who worked for the Mega Conspiracy from 2007 until his arrest in January 2012.

Nomm further admitted that, through his work as a computer programmer, he was aware that copyright-infringing content was stored on the websites, including copyright protected motion pictures and television programs, some of which contained the “FBI Anti-Piracy” warning.

Nomm also admitted that he personally downloaded copyright-infringing files from the Mega websites. Despite his knowledge in this regard, Nomm continued to participate in the Mega Conspiracy.

Even a year in prison for someone not previously acquainted with criminal processes is a major penalty, but if Dotcom is extradited and charged and found guilty he coukld expect a heftier sentence.

It can be guessed that Nomm has plea bargained to reduce his sentence, probably in return for hammering the bigger fish.

Leave a comment

6 Comments

  1. Mast Head

     /  14th February 2015

    Bottom LHC anyday.! The other three options make us look like a nation of ‘Chesdale-eating surrender Kiwis’.

    Reply
  2. Opionion — KIM DOT COM is only in trouble as the U.S spy agencies cannot break his encryption capabilities.

    Reply
  3. Kittycatkin

     /  15th February 2015

    Er…I don’t know what Masthead’s post means.

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  15th February 2015

      @Kitty. Ask “Mast Head” who they were originally when they first joined here 🙂

      Might give you a better understanding of what their comment meant. Or not. LOL.

      Reply
  1. Nomm to testify against Dotcom | Your NZ
  2. Dotcom’s response | Your NZ

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