Sad day in the Domain Industry. Rocked to the Core. Will Deep Throat Speak?

Morning Folks!!


I feel the worst for those
that were friends of
Nelson and were betrayed. I knew many that had his back
for many years. In the early days Nelson basically ran his entire business off
my first domain board. He was popular and had a lot of friends. I can’t imagine
how they feel.
Adam Strong gave a taste of what that must be like. Betrayal
is a bad place.


The story broke yesterday afternoon. I doubt the depth of this has been totally revealed. Damage
Control for 10 days and it has been public only for hours. Nobody gets to
“Control” where this may go. I would hope there would be an independent
investigation as this obviously is something that cost many millions. Likely more
than that with damages. It affected folks around the globe and their businesses
and the cash they had to run those businesses.


I was not a common bidder at Snap so yesterday was the very first time I heard of “Halveraz”
the 'Ghost'. But also looks like there was plenty of smoke before the fire broke
out from what I am reading. Some suggest that Nelson is just the “Fall guy.” Who knows, but it will
all come out. This is a volcano. An unfortunate volcano. Now the question, who
else, where else???? Will Nelson become “Deep Throat'? Today, THAT is the
question. What does Nelson have to say if anything? Are there any other 'Suspected Ghosts' at other venues? One thing is for sure, companies throughout the industry better clean up their act. A scandal can bring down the biggest.


I feel bad for Monte and the crew as another piece of bad luck has hit. I can't even imagine what they are going through at this point. Like I said in the title, this one is rocking the industry to the core. Like nothing any of us have seen to date.


Rick Schwartz




23 thoughts on “Sad day in the Domain Industry. Rocked to the Core. Will Deep Throat Speak?

  1. owen frager

    Adam is 100% right.
    The chutzpah of this guy to bid you up then be so nice two days later when you sought his help with the transfer, which he always ran miracles w/resellers to ensure satisfaction. It’s a great con.
    Seems to be too many of those lately hitting too close to home- the other one being Bova.
    What a time we live in.

    Reply
  2. Kevin

    I seriously doubt there’s only been one person or one company doing shill bidding in this industry over all these years.
    It’s just like bugs, where there’s one cockroach, there’s hundreds of other cockroaches hidden in the walls too.

    Reply
  3. Paul Kapschock

    What’s that saying….”Follow the cash” ?
    Whenever I look at a particular situation, I like to place myself in the other person’s shoes…it helps give me some perspective and balance.
    But all I keep thinking about is if I was involved in daily operations at Oversee & Snapname, and I saw this”Halverez” controlling or being involved in 1-5% of ALL daily auctions and winning approx 1% of all auctions, I guess I would love him.
    He is my biggest client, per se. He is running up lots of auctions for me; he is making me money on crappy names; I would think thousands of dollars, day after day; year after year…I think I would want to know this guy and at least buy him a steak dinner.
    Wouldn’t all the reps and grunts at Snap talk about Halverez?”We love Halverez”…”He’s the man”.
    Human nature being what it is…I would want to know everything about him. Lets get him to spend more money…more auctions. Reach out to him. Fly him in.
    Now, this is where it gets difficult for me to fully understand, and maybe someone can help, but if”Halverez” then returned to Snap some domains he won at these rigged auctions, and I guess the money would be refunded into his Snap account, wouldn’t the accountants get involved too? I am sure that would raise flags with the accounting department?
    I am sure in department meetings this was brought up?
    I would think it was easy enough for the accountants to followup…thru bank records, etc.
    I understand you don’t want to kill the golden Halverez, but there are way too many gaps and holes.
    Just like Madoff didn’t work alone in his scam, I hope for the sake of the industry there is a complete and transparent investigation.
    I always tell my wife the domaining business is the”wild west” and here is more proof.
    “Just follow the money”.
    Paul

    Reply
  4. Eric Shannon

    I probably only participated in a half dozen auctions over the course of a couple years, but my recollection is that Halvarez always seemed to be there bidding against me. 75% of the time maybe?

    Reply
  5. Michael

    It concerns me that this was their VP of Engineering. How do we know that halvarez wasn’t a bot created intentionally, and that Nelson isn’t just a scapegoat? How do we know halvarez was the only Snapnames identity participating in the fraud? Why did they find out now after four years, when people have been voicing their suspicions since at least 2006? Unless he was only bidding at home, how did they not notice bids coming from their own network?
    I also don’t get why all the reports of this in the industry refer to him as an employee. That diminishes the true impact of this news, and makes you think he is just a rogue pencil pusher. This is corruption from the top of the company…
    I find it hard to believe that their VP had so much free time that he could bid on 50,000+ auctions and likely place hundreds of thousands of bids in his spare time, and just to make the company 1% richer. Seems more likely to be a bot to me, probably with more Snapnames accounts than we are led to believe.

    Reply
  6. Bruce Gittleman

    Hey Rick,
    I’m sure that early knowledge of this was not the motivating force behind your sudden decision to offload your auction business onto the shoulders of Rick Latona, right?

    Reply
  7. Gazzip

    @Kevin
    I bet you’re right about the cockroaches, Halvarez has been in tons of auctions over the last 4/5 years but alot of the time he did’nt bid any further than the $60, he may have had a few other aliases for all we know and then only bid when he knew he was in with a big spender?
    There’s a good chance he had access to that info too.
    We also have to consider that all these participating registrars that have partnered up with the auction houses also have something to gain by higher sales prices. Who’s to say they don’t have their own shill bidders in amongst the mix ??
    Its a sad day indeed.

    Reply
  8. Charles Christopher

    > Nobody gets to “Control” where this may go.
    However, special interests will do their best to nudge this in the direction of their self interest.
    In todays climate, I fear the gov trying to twist this into more internet regulations and control/taxing of global commerce.

    Reply
  9. Ray D'Lus

    There will always be shill bidders, it is a part of the auction experience.
    Just don’t get excited and overbid. Let the shill win when the price goes to high, and you win when it is a value for you.
    I am not saying what the scumbag did was right, just a reminder that for those who were winners, you input your own bid, the shill did not force you to bid as high as you did.

    Reply
  10. Yaron

    did anybody say”class action” ?
    This is a perfect case and I’m sure all the DN layers are looking into it right now because this is big.

    Reply
  11. Steve Fox

    I may have information you need, meet me in a dark parking lot at 2 am. Bring lots of chocolate bars as payment.
    Betrayal is a good word. This news came out of nowhere. Soap opera time.

    Reply
  12. POOL.COM

    I stopped using Pool.com when I put a large amount as the reserve bid on a domain (that really wouldn’t have been wanted by anyone) and one bidder bid right up to that max reserve amount I had placed. (The only opposition bidder)
    I have never used them since.
    Perhaps the directors of Pool can state publicly that they never engaged in shill bidding under oath.
    The domain industry is snake oil.
    The one company that I actually think has some level of decency is snapnames and obviously their owner.

    Reply
  13. michael

    So what happened – your story starts in the middle of something we all aren’t privy too…

    Reply
  14. Carlo

    I always wondered who that guy was. Once in a bid war, i always search the persons user account name in google. This guy was all over hte place….i figured it was an automated bidding system…..now i know.

    Reply
  15. Anthony

    Did anyone ever wonder why they have not met him at a conference or convention….. Wouldn’t that fact alone throw up a red flag whenever he was involved in an auction with you?

    Reply
  16. lou

    This definitely grounds for class action suite. Namejet shlould be investigated too
    Snapnames trying to entice people buy with rebate? What a joke. Refund should be more like it

    Reply
  17. Michael Berkens

    Rick
    I think most domainers are under the false assumption that there will only be criminal charge brought against Brady if Oversee brings the charges.
    However I just posted a blog over at thedomains.com, letting people know that if they participated in one of the 50,000 auction in which there was shill bidding they may have standing to file charges with law enforcement

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.