Scandal Day 12. A Review of Where We Are, How We Got Here and Where to Now?

Morning Folks!!

There is a smaller and smaller group questioning the motives of my posts. I admit I may not be the best person to be so outspoken because of the way it might look, but
sitting on the sidelines while the biggest scandal ever is rocking the industry
just ain’t my style and this is way too important to worry who will say what and all the other BS. E
ven those thatdisagree, do you really question the sincerity of my anger and outrage and love of the industry and what we all do? My anger has subsided a bit because I have been able to express
myself over the last few days with these posts. But it does hurt. Deeply. Maybe it is just me, I don’t
think so, but I have this sort of sick feeling in the pit of my stomach each day. This dark cloud hanging over the Industry is something we will deal with for a very long time and none of us need it or deserve it.

Let's review a few things. We have basically only 5 bits of information. The first was the initial Stories and Press Release which I got & plus the related stories that spilled over to and other publications outside the industry. The second was thepostthat was NOT supposed to be posted about 'Coordinating closely' or words to that effect by a lower level employee of Oversee that many never heard of before. Finally thecontract that reveals more than all the other stuff combined as it is a roadmap to what they seem to be scared of when you work it backwards. Then add that nobody is talking regardless of the costs and damage being done and we have four.

The fifth bit is the great and detailed posts again by Mike Berkens of The who is not only one of the first to break the story but also is one of thelarger victimseven though his staggering numbers represent only 1.2% of the tainted auctions according to Mike. He was personally involved in 12,000 different auctions that Halvarez was involved in for a staggering total of 360,000 bids. He concluded that Halvarez acted alone based on his 1.2%. But what we don't know is if he was the lone player in this or was it more widespread and systematic? If you extrapolate the numbers from Mike's 1.2%, and I just use 1% and an estimate for the .2 (because I don't want to invest the time to be exact) but we are talking around 1 million different auctions that may have included bids in the area of 30 Million. Just staggering!

Any domainer looking at just these facts alone and plan to be in this business for the rest of their lives have to be rocked, shocked and angered. The rest are defending but what exactly are they defending at this point? I am just not sure what they are defending given the gravity of the matter and what we already know.

Stephen Douglas asked the question (Second comment, 'The Dude') that he saidRon Jackson was too polite to ask. He is right. Ron would not ask it. But now it is out there. For better or worse, it is out there. What was hard to even discuss in private is now out there and I guess we just have to wait until more is known and statements are made. The last days have given us a multi million dollar scandal, and anindustry shakeup with some very high level and highly regarded people. We have no answers or statements for any of what is going on and some are hesitantly asking is this coincidence? Now I am not stating anything because I don't know anything, but the post made me wonder. You wonder. We all wonder except for those that know but are not talking. I would agree withAdam's sentiments, 'I get your point that a wise person would explain their departure'.

As you can see by my series of posts below, the anger builds. It took me nearly 24 hours just to comment initially because I knew that this had wide ranging implications that could disrupt many things. I needed time to think, to understand, to understand the ramifications and the fallout and what it meant and what it means and what it is going to mean and how it will change things. Figuring out how something plays out is what I do for a living. Whether it be domains, real estate, stocks, politics, lighting, furniture, That is what I do.

Don't expect anyone not think and not wonder and not try to make assumptions and not try to connect the dots until we get some concrete and frank answers. We don't know if there is a cover up going on or an investigation. That my friends is it in a nutshell. That is the single biggest point. If there is a cover up, we can't allow that. Period. If there is an investigation, then we need to do everything we can to cooperate. I would only hope if an investigation were going on that it was led by the FBI and not an 'Internal' investigation led by PR firms and lawyers. All any of us want is to know and be satisfied is that they are doing the right things as opposed to anything else. If they do the right thing, they will be applauded and I will be among the first to stand up and do it. If they don't, then I will be the among first to stand up and say so.

I will be writing about this again and again and again until we get some real answers and then I will examine it and see how it fits into what we already know. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Don't feel guilty for being angry and speaking out, feel guilty for sitting on the sides and saying nothing. Feel guilty for excusing it. Feel guilty for minimizing it. Feel guilty for forgetting about it. But don't feel guilty for being angry. Don't feel guilty for DEMANDING answers. Don't feel guilty for protecting your livelihood and your futures that OTHERS have put into jeopardy, AGAIN! And don't let others turn it back on us just for speaking out and saying what needs to be said and asking the questions that BEG to be asked!

Rick Schwartz

First Post

Second Post

Third Post

Fourth Post

Fifth Post

Sixth Post

14 thoughts on “Scandal Day 12. A Review of Where We Are, How We Got Here and Where to Now?

  1. yaron

    You got my support!
    I’m a small domainer, and I never had an account with Snapnames, but I think what you are doing is extremely important and I hope others will follow.

  2. Morgan

    Great coverage Rick – I’ve really enjoyed following along with this through your blog posts.
    Looking forward to watch this unfold together and hopefully see justice served!

  3. Rob Sequin

    1. Still all quiet from Craig Snyder current General Manager of Snapnames who was CEO of iReit for three years while his company bought domains from Nelson Brady.
    I guess that’s not important.
    Did Craig Snyder profit from Nelson Brady’s fraudulent activities? What did he know and when? If nothing, why not?
    2. Recent executives leaving their companies after many years. I’m not implying anything, just stating facts.
    Pete Lamson (Buy Domains)
    Brian Carr (Buy Domains)
    Paul Stahura (enom)
    Lawrence Ng (founder of Oversee)
    Ron Sheridan (Domain Sponsor)

  4. Lance

    Oversee was doomed as soon as they decided to screw over their top publishers.
    Oversee will handout lists of the domains you park with them to anyone who asks.
    Only a fool would use them.

  5. John Berryhill

    “Recent executives leaving their companies after many years.”
    In other news….
    11 November 2009
    ICANN is soliciting information, advice and proposed models as it considers soliciting expressions of interest in new gTLDs.
    26 October 2009
    Registry/Registrar Separation Discussion
    Speakers: Brian Cute, Vice President, Discovery Services for Afilias
    Richard Tindal, SVP Registry eNom/ Demand Media
    Three things seem to be going on:
    1. ICANN is moving toward a”placeholder” approach to determining new gTLD applicants.
    2. The Registry/Registrar separation issue for new gTLD’s remain unresolved.
    3. People who have been associated with registrars seem to be finding new and undefined things to do.
    Sometimes the circus has more than one ring.

  6. Altaf

    We stand by Rick.
    Rick, You took the right & bold steps others dare to. If you do not stop the domain menace henceforth, who would do and save the domain world from such fraudsters? We all need an answer from this kind of Maddofs! who think about themselves only without bothering about the industry. Once it is brought to justice all other such pundits will learn lessons and stop playing. We will be safe. Sure! the Small group questioning will realise soon the impact & change their minds.

  7. Farid Mammadov

    You got my support!
    I’m a small domainer, and I never had an account with Snapnames, but I think what you are doing is extremely important and I hope others will follow.”
    I have the same opinion. We should ask all other companies like Sedo, Afternic. May be they have the same problems?

  8. Small Fries

    Vote Republican… we don’t need regulation. The free market will take care of itself… lol

  9. anon

    Dear SnapNames customer:
    This e-mail is a follow-up to our communications on the situation regarding inappropriate bidding in SnapNames auctions by a former employee.
    Update to Rebate Offer Acceptance Agreement
    On November 6, 2009, via Rust Consulting, we provided a calculation of the impact of the inappropriate bidding activity on your account and a Rebate Offer Acceptance Agreement for you to sign and return at your discretion.
    Several SnapNames customers expressed concerns about the agreement’s language. After considering these comments, we concluded that a section of the original agreement, addressing the scope of release of potential claims, could be interpreted as too broad and not what the company intended, and therefore should be clarified.
    Accordingly, a revised copy (available for download here) states precisely that the agreement addresses only the SnapNames auctions in which there was bidding activity from the user name “halvarez.”
    Customers who have already communicated their acceptance of the rebate do not need to take further action at this point—your rebate is already being processed for payment. However, if you prefer the revised language, you can print, sign and return the updated document. In that event, we will destroy the original acceptance agreement.
    Should you have questions regarding the revised agreement, please contact Rust Communications at (888) 413-5338, or
    Calculation of rebate amounts
    As discussed in the November 6 communication from Rust Consulting, to determine the rebate offer amount, SnapNames hired an independent, third-party forensic accounting firm to perform a review of these auctions and to calculate the rebate.
    The firm reviewed data regarding all of the bidders in an affected auction, including the bids each bidder placed in the auction and the maximum bids the bidders indicated they were willing to place in the auction. From this data, the firm determined what the winning bid would have been had halvarez never placed a bid in the auction. This amount was then subtracted from the actual price paid for the domain name to determine the amount of the rebate for that auction.
    Upon further review of this data, SnapNames has learned that for a small number of accounts, calculations failed to account for changes in our bidding system over time. In those cases, there will be a resulting upward adjustment of between $1 and $5 per auction. If you were affected, you do not need to take any action—you automatically will be paid the higher amount. If your payment has already been processed, you will be issued an additional check for the difference (or credit will be added to your SnapNames account, if you elected that option).
    Additional options for sending your rebate acceptance
    As detailed previously, if you elect to accept the rebate offer, you can execute and return the Rebate Offer Acceptance Agreement to:
    SnapNames Rebate Administrator
    P.O. Box 98
    Minneapolis, MN 55440-0098

  10. lou

    Do you think Snapnames is the only one? I suspect that ALL domain auctions have been shill bidding for along time. How do you suggest regulation of this happening?.
    How do we find out? The other one I think starts with a N.

  11. CurtisNeeley

    I filed for a summary judgment and asked my interrogatories be served in the alternative.
    They will end what is called an industry that makes absolutely nothing.
    i sued Google, Network Solutions, and NameMedia.
    Shill bidding in a shill industry.


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