Kim Dotcom, the founder of the seized file-sharing site Megaupload, has declared himself “broke”.
The entrepreneur said he had spent $10m (£6.4m) on legal costs since being arrested in New Zealand in 2012 and accused of internet piracy.
Mr Dotcom had employed a local law firm to fight the US’s attempt to extradite him, but his defence team stepped down a fortnight ago without explaining why.
Mr Dotcom said he would now represent himself at a bail hearing on Thursday.
He denies charges of racketeering, conspiring to commit copyright infringement and money laundering.
He told a conference in London, via a video link, that his lawyers had resigned because he had run out of money.
“The [US authorities] have certainly managed to drain my resources and dehydrate me, and without lawyers I am defenceless,” he said.
“They used that opportunity to try and get my bail revoked and that’s what I’m facing.”
The law firm Simpson Grierson, which had represented Mr Dotcom, could not be reached for comment.
Mr Dotcom’s declaration comes seven months after he won back access to about $750,000 worth of property – including several of his cars – that had been taken at the time of his arrest. However, other assets, including dozens of bank accounts, remained frozen.
Mr Dotcom said that his decision to create a new political party had backfired
The German national’s finances have also been put under strain after he helped bankroll a political party that failed to win a seat in September’s general election in New Zealand.
“Before I started my political movement – the Internet Party – I was quite popular in New Zealand,” Mr Dotcom told the digital business conference.
“After I got involved in politics and the prime minister of New Zealand and his party attacked me viciously, labelling me a Nazi… and [saying] I’m only starting my political party to fight my extradition… New Zealanders unfortunately have bought into that narrative and today I’m a pariah.
“The witch-hunt worked, and everyone wants to see me burn, and next Thursday I might go to jail because of that.”
Mr Dotcom does, however, continue to retain a lawyer in the US, who gave an interview to Radio New Zealand after Mr Dotcom’s comments.