Kim Schmitz, the German hacker-turned-gazillionaire, will have to defend himself in court against charges of embezzlement. Schmitz, who stills calls himself Kimble, allegedly rewarded himself with a "loan" of €280,000, paid by his company Monkey AG to his venture fund Kimvestor AG. Both companies are now bankrupt.
In May last year, after being extradited from Thailand to Germany, Schmitz was found guilty by a Munich court of insider trading in the rescue of online retailer LetsBuyIt.com and was given a 20-month suspended prison sentence. He also got fined for €100.000. Schmitz then moved to Hong Kong, where he founded a hedge fund cum ‘Money Making Machine’ called Trendax Ltd.
Trendax is an automated trading system operating simultaneously on multiple markets. Its AI-based decision system selects the ‘optimal combination of trading strategies for current market conditions’, as Schmitz puts it.
Schmitz, who the Germans like to refer to as a Net-Nepper (Net conman), was already convicted for hacking back in 1998, but then turned to a lifestyle of decadence and indulgence as a security advisor and venture capitalist. He once claimed his net worth was over $100 million.
The 23-stone, six-and-a-half foot German entrepreneur (born 1974) never made a secret of his flamboyant, jet-setting lifestyle. On his website you can still see him with his yacht, private jet, amazing cars and stunning women. In the wake of 9/11, Schmitz even offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden.
'My way is anything but conservative,' Schmitz writes. 'The rules in my world are not the rules of the old economy. This is the cyber age, which allows the Kimpire to grow fast, cost efficiently and without any limits. No bureaucracy, paragraphs or borders can slowdown the Kimpire. Our brains and the Internet, that's all we need to be successful.'