German Police Seize $29M in Bitcoin From Alleged Content Pirate

Prosecutors allege the programmer behind helped distribute 880,000 pirated films over a five-year period that ended in 2015.

AccessTimeIconAug 6, 2020 at 3:25 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:40 a.m. UTC

German authorities have seized €25 million ($29.6 million) in bitcoin and bitcoin cash from the alleged programmer behind, a massive online pirated film library that once drew the ire of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

  •’s unnamed programmer forfeited his bitcoin to Dresden prosecutors and agreed to assist in their ongoing investigation, prosecutors said in a Tuesday press release. He and his real estate broker have been in custody since last November.
  • Prosecutors allege the programmer helped distribute 880,000 pirated films during the site’s five-year run, which ended abruptly in May 2013 when the MPAA sued to block access in U.K. court.
  • The programmer bought over 22,000 BTC with the site’s advertising and subscription revenue and then flipped some of the crypto for real estate properties.
  • Prosecutors said they are still hunting for information on’s “second main operator” who is still at large.

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