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

Prosecutors allege the programmer behind movie2k.to helped distribute 880,000 pirated films over a five-year period that ended in 2015.

Aug 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 movie2k.to, a massive online pirated film library that once drew the ire of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

  • Movie2k.to’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 movie2k.to’s “second main operator” who is still at large.

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