The US Justice Department says it has successfully apprehended and charged the alleged founder and operator of KickassTorrents, the world’s largest and most notorious BitTorrent distribution site.
The 30-year-old Artem Vaulin, from Ukraine, was arrested today in Poland from where the United States has requested his extradition.
In a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, the owner is charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
KickassTorrents, also known as KAT, has distributed well over $1 billion in copyrighted materials, prosecutors said. Since 2008, the service has run a directory for downloading pirated movies, TV shows, music and more using the BitTorrent protocol.
It’s unclear what the DOJ (US Justice Department) will do with the domains it has seized, which include kickasstorrents.com, kastatic.com, thekat.tv, kat.cr, kickass.cr, kickass.to and kat.ph.