Permanent residency has been granted to a Filipino man living in Auckland who was ordered by a US court to pay $35 million for internet piracy.
Vonn Ryan Motomal – who is in his 20s – came to New Zealand in 2013 as a student at the failed private college, International Academy of New Zealand (IANZ) and ended up running its online marketing.
He set up more than 90 pirate sites streaming TV and movies from the Phillipines’ biggest entertainment conglomerate ABS-CBN.
A court in Florida ordered $35m in damages in December 2014 for infringing copyrights and trademarks.
ABS-CBN network reached a private settlement with Mr Motomal at the end of 2014 but the case was never reported in this country.
During this time Mr Motomal had a resident’s class visa and in September 2016 – Immigration New Zealand granted him permanent residency.