Mr. Schmitz denies these charges, stating that he has no intention of fleeing the country as he wants to be with his family and attempt to recover his frozen assets.
“I will not run away. I want to fight these allegations on a level playing field. I have three little children. My wife is pregnant with twins. I just want to be with them,” Mr. Schmitz told the court.
Mr. Schmitz is known to have multiple passports, and offshore bank accounts in different names. According to Bloomberg, Mr. Schmitz has more than $21 million in 23 seperate bank accounts in Hong Kong.
Justice Raynor Asher, who presided over Mr. Schmitz’s most recent case, argued that Mr. Schmitz’s great wealth and connection to Germany – which does not have an extradition agreement with the United States – is rationale to label him a flight risk.
“I’m aware that if I go to Germany I would be unable to unfreeze my assets. What I want to do is stay here to fight and get my money back,” Mr. Schmitz responded. “What would I do in Germany with five kids and a wife with no money?”
“It is not an option for me.”
The adipose former digital storage locker mogul claims that he has gotten “unwanted” letters from female prisoners, and a harassing phone call from a man claiming to be a prosecutor according to media reports from New Zealand.
Mr. Schmitz is expected to remain in custody until February 22, when his extradition hearing is expected to begin.