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“German Programmer Accused of Operating Illegal Movie Streaming Site Pays $2.17 Billion in Bitcoin Settlement”

Economy"German Programmer Accused of Operating Illegal Movie Streaming Site Pays $2.17 Billion in Bitcoin Settlement"

A German programmer, accused of operating an illegal movie streaming site over a decade ago, has transferred $2.17 billion worth of bitcoin to authorities in an effort to repay some of the funds generated illicitly, as confirmed by the police on Tuesday. The transfer involved the use of the man’s unique bitcoin credentials to surrender the funds.

Kay Anders, a spokesperson for the Saxony state police, stated, “This is the most extensive seizure of bitcoins by law enforcement in the Federal Republic of Germany to date.” The funds will remain in the authorities’ Bitcoin account until a court determines the appropriate course of action.

The accused, a 40-year-old German citizen, along with his business partner, is currently under investigation for allegedly operating what was once the country’s most successful illegal video-sharing site. The site, movie2k.to, enjoyed popularity from 2008 to 2013, offering tens of thousands of movies in various languages for download. During its peak, it ranked among the 25 most-visited websites in Germany, drawing users from around the world. After its closure in 2013, several similar sites emerged to fill the void.

Throughout its five-year existence, movie2k.to facilitated the illegal download of nearly 880,000 copies of films, according to authorities. The police revealed that the programmer had taken the site’s profits and invested them in bitcoin, which subsequently surged to a value exceeding €40,000 per coin. The programmer, who executed the substantial bitcoin transfer several weeks ago, was arrested in 2019 and spent months in jail. He has since been released while the investigation continues, as authorities do not consider him a flight risk.

Authorities disclosed that the programmer had admitted to his involvement in operating the illegal streaming site. The ongoing investigation will determine further legal actions in response to the large bitcoin repayment.

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