If you’ve dropped by your favorite site KickassTorrents (KAT) and found it suddenly unresponsive, you can stop blaming your ISPs (for once): the hugely popular torrent site has been seized by the feds and its alleged owner, 30-year old Ukranian Artem Vaulin, has been arrested in Poland where he will be extradited to the United States.
The owner has been charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
According to the complaint, feds posed as an advertiser on KAT, which allowed them to discover a bank account associated with the website. Further investigation revealed that Apple handed over the personal details of Vaulin after investigators cross-referenced an IP address used for an iTunes transaction with the log-in IP used for KAT’s Facebook account.
Several bank accounts related to KAT has also been seized, as well as the site’s domain names.
“Vaulin is charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.
“In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice.”