Govern yourselves accordingly16 Mar 2007
I just received the following email:
Attention Mr. Forret,
It has been brought to our attention that you published or caused to be published an e-mail communication and/or internet bulletin containing words that are false, misleading and defamatory to our firm. More specifically, these publications can be found at:
More specifically your statement “Domain Registry of America scam”. That statement is false and misleading in many ways:
1) The title of the publication accuses Domain Registry of America as being involved or perpetrating some type of scam, which his false.
2) Domain Registry of America’s mailings do not “urge” or “scare” anyone to take any action towards the mailing. It informs domain name holders that they now have the option to “transfer and renew” their domain name with any Registrar of their choice and take advantage of lower pricing and better service.
3) Your use of the phrase “it’s a scam”
4) Unaware to you, this mailing has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission as clearly describing it meaning and purpose. (PF: Actually they’ve done quite the opposite)
Your publication has caused and continues to cause Domain Registry of America irreparable damages and we intend to hold you responsible for these damages both past and present. You are hereby notified that we demand these false, misleading and defamatory statements mentioned above that you have published or have caused to be published be removed by no later than 15 days of your receipt of this notice.
If we do not receive written notification that these publications have been removed by the above deadline we will without further warning, advise our lawyers to commence a lawsuit in an Ontario court for damages and a permanent and interlocutory injunction restraining you, your employees, agents and representatives from making and publishing such publications. Domain Registry of America/Canada has successfully taken legal action in the past against other publishers of similar false, misleading and defamatory statements.
Govern yourselves accordingly,
Domain Registry of America/Canada
Small recap: DROA sends letters to owners of domain names urging them to renew their domain names with them. The letter looks like a bill that has to be paid. If someone falls for it, his or her domain names are transferred to and invoiced by the DROA. It is true, they include a notice in small print ‘This is not a bill’, but it is a scam nevertheless: they try to trick people. And so now they send me a cease-and-desist.
As I researched earlier, the founders of the company, Daniel Klemann, James Tetaka and Peter Kuryliw (all from Toronto, Canada) spend a lot of time in courtrooms. The person who sent me the letter, Alan Benlolo, is apparently member of the same club:
- The defendants – Michael Risman (“Risman”), Alan Benlolo (“Benlolo”), Stephen Dale (“Dale”), and Lenny Nacher (“Nacher”) – approached the victimized investors and claimed to represent an investor who was prepared to purchase the shares at a substantial premium, but insisted that the proposed seller first post a “deposit” to insure the closing of the transaction. 1999
- “He had been indicted and charged in Pennsylvania for his participation in the fraudulent telemarketing scheme involving the sale of indium. He pleaded guilty and was incarcerated for 18 months 2003“
- Investigators dubbed the stock-swindle case Project Opulence–a fitting title since Alan Benlolo, 36, and his 38-year-old brother Elliot lived so lavishly off the proceeds of their scams 2004.
- The individuals (Alan Benlolo, Elliot Benlolo, Simon Benlolo, Victor Serfaty) sent out mail pieces that falsely appeared to be bills or invoices from Bell Canada or Yellow Pages, when in fact they were solicitations to have the recipients’ business details appear in Internet-based directories operating under the names Yellow Business Pages.com and Yellow Business Directory.com. Between May and December 2000, they sent the mail pieces to approximately 900,000 businesses and non-profit organizations in Canada and generated sales of over $1 million.2004