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Owner of Illegal File-Sharing Site Arrested in Poland

  • VOA News

FILE - Leslie Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, in New York, May 11, 2015.

FILE - Leslie Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, in New York, May 11, 2015.

The alleged owner of Kickass Torrents, an illegal file-sharing website said to have a net worth of at least $54 million, was arrested in Poland Wednesday.

Ukrainian Artem Vaulin has been charged in the U.S. with two counts of criminal copyright infringement as well as conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. officials say they will seek his extradition from Poland.

The U.S. Justice Department says Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his internet domains several times due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell says Vaulin's arrest in Poland demonstrates that "cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice.”

Kickass Torrents (KAT), has enabled users to illegally reproduce and distribute copies of movies, music, and video games since 2008. The movies available on the website are often still in theaters.

American prosecutors have said the website receives over 50 million unique visits per month and is currently the 69th most frequented site on the internet.

At least one of KAT's servers was located in Chicago where a U.S. court has ordered the seizure of a bank account and seven domain names associated with the company.

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