By Carter Maness
When file-sharing website Megaupload was shuttered for rampant piracy in January, the company's presumed CEO Swizz Beatz appeared to be cleared of responsibility because his role was loose and unfinalized. Now, the federal government is claiming that Swizzy, real name Kasseem Dean, was in fact involved with the company and they are specifically using his involvement in an attempt to try the case in the United States.
Swizz was listed on the site as CEO when it was taken down and had been vocal about his role and support prior the bust. Afterwards, though, his lawyer claimed that his involvement was more of an endorsement and that Dean had no real role in running daily operations of the service.
That appears untrue. According to U.S. attorney Neil MacBridge, Swizz represented Megaupload in front of the United States Trade Representative in December 2011, which indicates he was officially involved and gives the opportunity for the federal government to try a case against the maligned site within the country. Prior to today, there was only a small chance that the case would be tried here due to the fact that Megaupload was operated overseas and wasn't within U.S. legal jurisdiction.
A filing by MacBridge officially claims the connection between Dean and Megaupload. "After Defendant Dotcom became Defendant Megaupload's Chief Innovation Officer, the company appears to have employed at least two Chief Executive Officers in the United States: first David Robb and then Kasseem David Dean (also known as Swizz Beatz)," it reads.
Swizzy has yet to comment on the new developments and reportedly has refused to participate in any investigations regarding Megaupload since the bust. That said, following the above filing, it's likely that he will be served with a summons that legally forces his cooperation.