Firmware jailbreaker extraordinaire George "GeoHot" Hotz landed himself in legal hot water for his part in cracking open PS3 system security, which allowed unlicensed code to run on the hardware.
Hotz's case suffered a major setback last month when he was ordered by the state district court of California to hand over to Sony any equipment he used to help produce the PS3 jailbreak for the purpose of examination. This isn't so great for Hotz because Sony stands to gleam some very compromising information whether it is related to their case or not.
As it turns out, Sony hasn't been to gleam very much thus far because the company claims Hotz hasn't been playing nice with them at all. Not only did Hotz fail to provide the necessary hardware by purposely tampering with the equipment he handed over to a neutral third party, Sony claimed Hotz has skipped the country to make things even harder on the company:
...over the last several weeks. Hotz has engaged in a campaign to thwart jurisdictional discovery at every turn –regardless of whether the Court has ordered such discovery or not. Most seriously, after Magistrate Judge Spero ordered an inspection of Hotz’s devices and ordered Hotz to appear at a deposition in California, SCEA learned that Hotz had deliberately removed integral components of his impounded hard drives prior to delivering them to a third party neutral and that Hotz is now in South America, an excuse for why he will not immediately provide the components of his hard drives as requested by the neutral. Hotz’s attempts to dodge this Court’s authority raise very serious questions.
In any case, Sony adds that Hotz hasn't been doing his case any additional favours by lying about not having a PSN account and never accessing the PSN before. Research into one of the PS3 serial numbers provided by Hotz himself shows that a PSN account "blickmaniac" was created on the console shortly after it was purchased from a GameStop retailer near Hotz's residence; the IP address tied to blickmaniac can also be traced to the area of Glen Rock, New Jersey, where Hotz lives. Sony contends that the blickmaniac PSN account can be further linked to Hotz thanks to message board postings made under the same account name which discuss the jailbreaking of mobile phones.
Update: PSX-Scene sets the record straight regarding Hotz's mysterious "disappearance" from the States. Yup, he's just on vacation in South America! We're still not sure about the "tampering with the equipment" part, but perhaps that could also be another convenient misinterpretation.
Hotz is currently on vacation in a South American country. As common sense would dictate, there is no reason to "flee" from a civil case. These sites have based their claims on misinterpretations of the court documents and an image posted on Geohot's blog. Way to put two and two together, guys!