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Username: rachelmacgregor
Date/Time: Sat, October 20, 2001 at 9:54 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Subject: Appeal for a Lawyer who will challenge Afilias - a matter of honor

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So what is the charge against Afilias?

Thousands of their customers (and customers of their accredited registrars) were persuaded to part with money for a product which never materialised.

Afilias set up a system which did not check in advance for fraud, and therefore "left the door open" for deception.

As a result over 10000 names were illegally claimed.

Processes existed and were widely circulated, which would have protected the interests of Landrush customers and honest Trademark claimants. But Afilias declined to implement them - preferring to prevent Landrush customers access to the names they'd paid to pre-register for, and "sell" the names all over again next year.

Then it emerged that over 50% of these fraudulent claims had been executed by the companies of Afilias Board members and executives. Even the company of the Afilias CEO was caught out, abusing Afilias's own system by submitting completely false applications.

Compounding this offence, it then emerged that these "Afilias Board Companies" had accepted over $500,000 to carry out the abuse of their own system.

The scandal was made worse when the original false claimants (Lorenz and Plankenstein among others) publicly admitted the applications were ineligible or had false details (in Lorenz's case, NO details!!). Lorenz asked 18 times for these names to be released for Landrush customers. It was inexplicable that Afilias would not just delete the names (as the Landrush had not yet taken place). By consciously refusing to do so, they "disentitled" Landrush customers who had been completely defrauded.

These actions were : frauds which defrauded people of products they had bought - namely, the chance to win a domain name.

Afilias had the contractual right to delete over 50% of fake Sunrise registrations (registrations which should never have gone ahead anyway, but which profited Board members' companies by over half a million dollars) and yet chose not to.

Instead, they have created the opportunity to "re-sell" these names at a second Landrush, for the further profit of their companies.

While all this was going on, there were other violations being perpetrated by Afilias members...

A further Board member was caught submitting (through her company at least - if not her in person!) deliberately faked Trademark information to claim Hawaii.info and Maui.info. Trademark number 444455555 does not exist for this name, but Afilias still went ahead and registered it for Board Member Govinda Leopold's registrar company. Even when this became public knowledge, they refused to delete the names and release them for Landrush applicants.

Other instances of bad business practice included the Afilias CEO Lubsen's company, Domain Bank, who continued to take money selling pre-registrations after names had already been registered by Afilias in the Sunrise phase. Lubsen's registrar site reported these names as "available" but they were not.

Afilias also granted "reserved" status to Registrars for certain names which they may not have the right to. On what grounds did Corporate Domains, represented on the Afilias Board, have the right to "reserve" NUDES.info ahead of the rest of the Internet community.

In addition, registrars were not permitted to apply for names, and yet Afilias went ahead and registered over 500 names for friendly registrars, many if not most of which need checking for suspect TM details of their highly-prized generic names : the very names many registrars had charged honest customers to pre-register for.

THE PRIMARY CHARGE remains the fact that Afilias Board members - through their companies - took $500,000 to execute frauds which abused and broke the rules of their own system. Then, as Afilias, they registered these names (resulting in the defrauding of thousands of honest customers). And when the original fraudsters admitted the details were faked or requested (18 times!) that they be released to the public... it was Afilias, not the original fraudsters, who declined to let Landrush custoners have them back, thereby creating the opportunity for Afilias and registrars to "sell them a second time".

SURELY.... there is a lawyer somewhere in America or Ireland who can confront this company, when the actions are as blatant as this?

I encourage you to copy and e-mail this forum posting to every lawyer you can find. Just let them read what has happened. Then let them dig deeper and they will be stunned by everything else they will find. These whole event has been very clearly recorded from day to day.

I believe this is a gift package for any lawyer, on a plate, with the chance to enhance their reputations.

People have been defrauded in various ways. The complainants exist and are willing to testify.

The actions of this company speak for themselves. They are as blatant and as clear as day.

But when fair and reasonable points are raised, they decline to answer the questions, or else they pretend it's all nonsense.

Which is what they did a few weeks ago, when their own Director Robert Connelly announced he wanted to resign all his interests and cut off his business connections, because of the unjust treatment of Landrush pre-registrants, and what he called the "abomination" of the Sunrise debacle.

He resigned because he was a man of honor.

I believe we, who have been defrauded, are looking for a legal man or woman of honor right now.

Please stand up for what is right.

Rachel MacGregor

     
 


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