Fraudster Pleads Guilty To Internet Domain Owner Shakedown - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Fraudster Pleads Guilty To Internet Domain Owner Shakedown

A Las Vegas man pled guilty to threatening lawsuits against the owners of Internet domain names in a scheme to gain control of them.

A Las Vegas man pled guilty in federal court to impersonating an intellectual property lawyer and threatening lawsuits against the owners of Internet domain names in a scheme to gain control of them.

David Dominic Scali, 28, agreed to plead guilty to a wire fraud charge in a deal with the U.S. Attorney's Office. The plea was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The wire fraud charge carries a maximum of 20 years in federal prison. While a judge will make the sentencing decision, under the plea deal, prosecutors only will ask for a range of probation to six months in custody.

The Department of Justice said in a statement that Scali registered an e-mail account with netzero.net under an alias and then sent out e-mails between June and July of last year, claiming he was an intellectual property lawyer -- sometimes saying he was a California attorney and sometimes saying he was affiliated with a New York law firm. In the e-mails, he threatened to file $100,000 trademark infringement lawsuits against the owners of various Internet Web site names unless they transferred their domain name registrations to him within two days.

The wire fraud charge Scali pled guilty to is in connection to an incident where one of his victims turned over a domain name similar to www.citysearch.com. He admitted during his plea deal that he was trying to obtain the domain name registrations for his own financial gain. He could cash in by posting ads on the fraudulently obtained Web sites for anyone who erroneously landed there after mistyping the name of the site they were trying to get to.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Commentary
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
News
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
Slideshows
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll