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Domain Typo-Squatter Fraudster Pleads Guilty: Faces 20 Years In Jail

     
4:15 pm on Sep 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A man in Nevada is facing a possible 20 years in jail after trying to defraud people out of their domain names. David Scali pleaded guilty in court to a charge of mail fraud after being caught out in the scam.

Scali registered an email under a false name and pretended to be an intellectual property lawyer, threatening $100,000 lawsuits unless domain name holders signed over their property within 48 hours.

The man targeted websites with similar names to popular sites. When internet users mistype URLs the traffic these sites generate can be used to sell advertising on the misspelt sites, a practice known as domain-squatting or typo-squatting.

Domain Typo-Squatter Fraudster Pleads Guilty: Faces 20 Years In Jail [vnu.co.uk]

4:59 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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hefty sentence!
5:01 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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lol, 20 Years in Jail. They make it seem so severe yet, from The Register...

Typo-squatting grifter faces the slammer
[theregister.co.uk...]

The agreement talks of a sentence between probation and six months' imprisonment, but this is just a guideline for the judge in the case, who'll have the final say.
5:41 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If it wasn't severe, then everybody would do it.

I'm assuming 20 years is the maximum sentence, which won't be the ruling most likely.

6:04 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I wonder what the penalty for the same offense would be like in canada..
6:12 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The funny part is that it sounds like he was scamming scammers.

[edited by: physics at 6:12 pm (utc) on Sep. 11, 2007]

6:33 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WOW, 20 years! Note to self: don't scam/spam people.
6:48 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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note to self: dont ever get caught scamming! Be the best at it!

lol

8:10 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The funny part is that it sounds like he was scamming scammers.

Indeed it does. I would think that registering a domain similar to citysearch.com (as the person mentioned in the article did) would get you into trouble at least with citysearch if not the law...

9:29 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I hope he gets at least 5 years and that the FBI goes after those who reported him too (cybersquating is, of course, sleazy :))
9:35 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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> 20 years is the maximum sentence

Drama Queens! Reporters love to talk about the maximum and hate to say nobody gets it 99.99999% of the time. Or talk about sentencing guidelines which usually rule out the maximum as even an option.

But the guy might get more than Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan.

p/g

9:55 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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very funny, thanks for digging that up!
10:29 pm on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Pieces of garbages like this should get live in prison without the possibility of parole.
1:04 am on Sept 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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He will get six months probation.

Once he is done with the probation, he will get a round trip ticket to Belize (why round trip? Because it's cheaper than one way :)).

He will retire on a beach with ample money. (Presuming he has been doing this for an 'extended' period.)

As Mikko of F-Secure said it today, and I am paraphrasing - malware and spam will continue, because it pays. Rarely they get caught, and when caught they do not get punished sufficienty.

1:41 am on Sept 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't know the guy was targeting typo-squatters so he has a sympathy vote from me... scamming the scammers is funny.
9:20 am on Sept 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Once he is done with the probation, he will get a round trip ticket to Belize (why round trip? Because it's cheaper than one way :)).

he might as well get a round trip to Germany.

All he needs to do there is

1. get a laywer who's out of work,
2. form a so called "Abmahnverein"
3. search the Web (.de-domains) for something that's not correct (and there is always something that's not correct)
4. send out letters damanding the addressee pay 100-200 Euro, sign a letter of complience (if breached, that costs 5-10 K per case then) and threaten to take the webmaster to court if he doesn't pay.)
5. order a nice set of wheels shortly after beginning.

The advantage: it's completely legal, because it benefits the community.