Kim Schmitz, aka Kim Dotcom, Megaupload's convicted founder, has been arrested several times before and owned a car licence plate that says GOD.

The 37-year-old had a bad reputation in Hollywood, where he was called Dr Evil.

A chubby, geeky guy with a funny face, Schmitz was born in Germany but was running Megaupload from New Zealand, where he was arrested on 19 January.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Schmitz was convicted of credit card fraud, hacking, insider trading and embezzlement. He was given a two-year suspended sentence for computer hacking and had convictions for the other charges.

Schmitz purchased $375,000 (£240,000) of a bankrupt online shop and announced he would invest millions. The share hit a high of 300 percent. But he was convicted of insider trading in Germany.

Dotcom said the convictions were wiped under a German "clean slate" law, channel TV3 reported.

"Officially, I am as clean as it gets," he told the New Zealand network.

His reputation for luxury goods grew when he tried to buy one of New Zealand's most expensive homes, a mansion northwest of Auckland.

In the US indictment, the list of hisproperty and accounts seized by the FBI is impressive. There is a number of bank accounts, PayPal accounts, 15 Mercedes-Benz vehicles, a Rolls-Royce with the licence plate "GOD," a rare Lamborghini and a Maserati. The defendants had a number of vehicles with creative licence plates including "HACKER," "POLICE," "STONED," "GOOD," "CEO," and "GUILTY."

The FBI closed down Megaupload, one of the world's largest file sharing websites on 19 January. Charges have been laid against its founders of racketeering, money laundering and plotting to commit copyright infringement.

According to the FBI, Megaupload was running an international organised crime enterprise that cheated copyright holders out of $500 million in revenue.

Seven people associated with the company were indicted earlier in January. Authorities seized $50m in assets as part of the operation.

Before the shutdown, Megaupload released a statement calling the charges of copyright-infringement "grotesquely overblown".

Schimtz faces up to 55 years in prison if convicted. He has been remanded in custody until a hearing on 23 January.