Did you these 5 quick facts about Artem Vaulin, the founder of popular KickassTorrents torrent website?
Artem Vaulin, named as the alleged owner of KickAssTorrents (KAT) in a lawsuit, was arrested in a joint operation by the U.S. law enforcement authorities with the Polish police. The lawsuit was filed in Chicago, with Vaulin, a 30-year-old man from Kharkiv, Ukraine, being sued for criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. The U.S. is going to seek his extradition.
The US Department of Justice and the legal team of alleged KickassTorrents owner Artem Vaulin are now headed for a court battle over copyright infringement and other three counts.
A little recap about Artem Vaulin and KickassTorrents, FBI along with other law enforcement agencies had arrested Vaulin in Poland after a police raid. The FBI also confiscated the world’s most popular torrent website, Kat.cr during the raid. The arrest of Vaulim led to a big churning in torrents community with The Pirate Bay and Extratorrents emerging as most popular torrent websites. KickassTorrents has made a comeback with a new domain called katcr.co/new but it is yet to create any mark.
So, who is Artem Vaulin? Here’s what you need to know.
1. Artem Vaulin was arrested in Poland for allegedly owning KickassTorrents and may be extradited to the United States
Arrested in Poland by the local police, the federal government is going to try to have Vaulin extradited to the United States for his trial.
Vaulin has been charged by the Chicago federal court with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
2. If Convicted, Vaulin could face up to 20 years in jail
Vaulin is known online as “tirm”, according to the complaint. The press release about his arrest adds that he is innocent until proven guilty, and therefore, until now he is only “alleged” to have committed the above crimes.
If he is convicted for copyright charges, he could face a prison term of five years. However, the money laundering charge could get him a maximum sentence of up to 20 years, if found guilty. In late August 2016, the Department of Justice followed the complaint with a full grand jury indictment of Vaulin and two other defendants, Ievgen Kutsenko and Oleksandr Radostin; while Vaulin was still being held in Polish prison. Vaulin has both a Polish and US legal representation Ira Rothken as his lawyers to handle the allegations. In November 2016, a Polish appeals court refused to allow bail for Vaulin, stating the evidence provided by the US is sufficient to keep him in prison.
3. He Owns a Company Called Cryptoneat, Which FBI Alleges Was a Cover for KickassTorrents and KAT.
Vaulin has been the owner and operator of KAT since it was founded in November 2008. He allegedly operated KAT under the auspices of a Ukrainian-based front company called Cryptoneat to partially hide KAT’s operations, allege the complaint. According to the complaint, a backup account for KAT’s Whois registration was once firstname.lastname@example.org (see page 34.) When clicked on Cryptoneat.com, it redirects to Cryptoneat.ua.
On LinkedIn, there is an Artem Vaulin from Ukraine who works at Cryptoneat. Cryptoneat has a LinkedIn page, as does Artem (even though his profile does not have a photo.) According to Cryptoneat’s LinkedIn page: “We are a software development company crafting our own products since 2008. Our latest project is wine scanner iOS application Wineeapp.com. “We support personal responsibility and involvement with no overmanagement standing in the way of imagination and creative thinking.
“Flexible schedules and smart workspace — we hold to the ergonomics cult: Herman Miller chairs, standing desks, Apple hardware and multi-monitor configurations.”
There are 20 employees listed on LinkedIn for Cryptoneat, which includes marketing engineers, developers and software engineers. Cryptoneat also has a nice-looking website here. Perks for employees include paid sick leave, gym membership, bicycle parking, refrigerators, Herman Miller chairs, no dress code, and days off. The website doesn’t look like a front organization but a legal company.
Additionally, Cryptoneat also has an Instagram page here. However, there is no clarity if any of the people in the photo are Vaulin.
4. Vaulin’s LinkedIn Profile Lists Strategic Planning, Project Management, and Customer Service as His Top Skills
A LinkedIn profile of Artem Vaulin that doesn’t have a picture and is listed as the founder of Cryptoneat mentions Strategic Planning, Project Management, Management, and Customer Service as his top skills. These skills appear to just be skills that other LinkedIn members vote on for you.
Vaulin has 105 LinkedIn connections. The languages listed on his profile are Ukrainian, Russian, and English. Cryptoneat and Grupo EDFAN are the only companies that he follows.
Additionally, there are two other Artem Vaulins on LinkedIn, with both showing as listed in the Russian Federation along with similar photos for both. However, it is unclear if these are the same Artem or a different person.
5. Read the Entire Complaint Against Vaulin Below
Check out the complete complaint filed by FBI and the Polish authorites against Vaulin and KickassTorrents: