Oron’s Administrator Accused of Money Laundering
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We follow up on the Oron case with news from a recent court hearing. As we’ve informed you the last time, Oron has been sued by the adult studio Liberty Media – representing Corbin Fisher – and now its owner is accused, besides copyright infringement, of money laundering via Hong Kong and converting roughly $3 million into gold bullion.
Back in June a lawsuit was filed by Corbin Fisher against Oron’s operators for no less than $34,8 million in copyright infringement. As such, a judge ruled that the cyberlocker must pay Liberty Media the least amount of $550,000.
While for some this may have looked like the end of it, recent events proved different. Last week Oron asked the court to unfreeze its assets (a total of $750,000, including the attorney’s fees), saying that they can pay through a US PayPal account, so there’s no reason to freeze more of theirs funds.
“Oron desires to file a post-judgment motion or motions in this Court, and if necessary an appeal in the Ninth Circuit. Oron requests that the Court stay execution on its judgment until after Oron’s post-judgment motions can be decided and after Oron has the opportunity to ask the Ninth Circuit to stay execution on the judgment.”
In addition, the portal’s lawyers asked the court to let them access $200,000 more for post-judgment motions and an appeal. As expected, the studio’s lawyers did not agree, arguing that a thorough breakdown is mandatory, while also pointing out that Oron failed to provide a detailed account of its overall assets.
Marc Randazza, representing the studios said:
“[Oron] has nearly three million dollars in gold stashed away. Presumably, if the Defendant needed money to run its business, it would liquidate or sell a portion of this bullion. It could presumably do the same to pay legal fees.”
“However, if it did so, it would be spending funds that were not traceable, and as a practical matter, were not likely to be seized.”
“This is presumably why the funds are laundered in this manner,” he went on.
“First the funds are collected through PayPal, then wired to Hong Kong, then converted to gold, and then they are stashed away, free from the eyes of judgment creditors and other authorities. In this case, Oron only wants to spend the money that it most easily stands to lose in this very case. Even if it were not sitting on nearly three million United States dollars in gold, Oron’s troubles would be self-inflicted.”
An interesting fact is that Mr. Randazza presented the court a copy of an e-mail he got (a tip) which included details about Oron’s presumed owner. Also, the tipster claims that Oron’s staff shut down their service on purpose so that they have a trump when in court.
“Their servers with data are still in LeaseWeb data center,” this anonymous individual explained. He also said that Oron’s owner has yet another website – Novafile.com.
“Oron has nine known accounts and a stash of gold bars. Nevertheless, Oron believes that this Court should only Order disbursements from the one U.S.-based account, the one account where this Court’s jurisdiction can have immediate effect,” Randazza concluded.
“If Oron needs $200,000, then it should use, or borrow against, the three million dollars worth of gold bars it has stashed away.”