One of the largest shareholders of Mega, the cloud storage service founded by Kim Dotcom, is under investigation for his connections to a crime ring. According to a report by TorrentFreak on Monday, New Zealand police have put 18.8 percent of Mega’s shares through William Yan’s companies under restraining order while they investigate the allegations.
The lawyer of accused shareholder Yan denies that his client is connected to the alleged money laundering crimes. Mega said it is not involved in the alleged crimes, nor is its founder Dotcom.
Mega’s CEO Graham Gaylard said that Mega has been “extremely diligent to ensure that all its operations are fully compliant with all legal and regulatory requirements.”
Mega has had to make it clear that it operates legally, as Dotcom’s controversial past with Megaupload continues to impact the view of its brand, at least in the US. Dotcom continues to face extradition from the US on copyright infringement charges.
Mega plans to list on the New Zealand stock exchange before the end of the year.
In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Kim Dotcom, the founder of Mega who parted from its management nine months ago to focus his efforts on the Internet Party, said that shares from the Dotcom family trust were sold to Yan and seven other shareholders. There were no indications to Dotcom that Yan was connected to crime; “to me, he looked like a normal businessman,” he told the Herald.
The police started to investigate the money laundering crimes after a drugs inquiry which led to the seizure of more than 1300 pounds of pseudoephedrine, a main ingredient in methamphetamine, according to the report.
Yan’s shares were among millions of dollars in assets seized by police in a raid on the Metropolis building in Auckland. The raid is connected to an ongoing financial investigation into a friend of Yan’s Yingzi Zeng. Police seized $9 million in assets from Zeng last year, including a Porsche and Maserati.