A flamboyant German millionaire who lived the high life in Ibiza and offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Osama bin Laden is himself hunted for fraud, his lawyer and prosecutors have said. Kim Schmitz, a 28-year-old former hacker who made millions by advising on computer security, was detained at Bangkok airport last Saturday at the request of German authorities in connection with 11 counts of insider dealing. “As far as I know it's about investment fraud and insider dealing,” Schmitz' lawyer Thomas Pfister told Reuters. A regional prosecutor in Munich confirmed Schmitz was wanted in connection with insider dealing. Schmitz has become Germany's leading Internet-boom celebrity thanks to his rapid rise from an obscure hacker to millionaire venture capitalist and new economy guru. “A German high-tech fairy tale has ended,” Schmitz wrote on his web site (www.kimble.org) in recent days, threatening to take his own life because his image was being tarnished. “The 500-million-mark man has left Germany, because ... a super-brain and Internet tycoon has been made out in Germany as a braggart, trickster and fraud,” he said in what he called a farewell note. An inscription on a gravestone on his homepage reads: “Kim Schmitz born 21.01.1974, died 21.01.2002. Legends may sleep, but they never die. Enough is enough.” Schmitz, who was once estimated to be worth around $200 million, began his flirt with fame when he was convicted of computer hacking in 1998 only to go on to make a fortune providing computer security consulting. He had spiced up his image by allowing himself to be photographed aboard huge motorboats in Ibiza in the company of bikini-clad models. His star faded as the Internet bubble burst two years ago, but he hit the headlines again when he offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Osama bin Laden. He says he received over 10'000 emails and more than 1.5 million visitors to his Web site within 24 hours after announcing the reward, but said he had also received death threats.


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