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Zuccarini Responds in Domain Case, Says Assignee is Lying

August 6, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuit, Policy & Law, zuccariniComments Off on Zuccarini Responds in Domain Case, Says Assignee is Lying

Zuccarini responds to contempt charges, alleges contempt himself.

The ongoing battle of John Zuccarini and the assignee in Office Depot’s cybersquatting case is getting even more interesting.

To bring you up to speed:

-Zuccarini was found to have cybersquatted on Office Depot
-DS Holdings “bought” the judgment Office Depot won, so now it is owed the money (the IRS also has a tax lien)
-Zuccarini’s other domain names were to be used to satisfy the judgment in some way (monetization, auction, etc).
-A receiver was appointed in the case, and he let some of the domains expire, and they were then auctioned off at NameJet.
-Zuccarini sued NameJet and others over auctioning the domains
-DS Holdings and the receiver agreed they should auction the remaining domain names at TRAFFIC in October
-Zuccarini notified Latona’s and the TRAFFIC organizers that he would sue them if they auctioned the domain names.
-DS Holdings argued Zuccarini was in contempt of court for notifying the parties that they would be sued

Phew. Got that?

Now Zuccarini as responded (pdf) to the charges of contempt, and has himself levied charges of contempt against the receiver (Michael Blacksburg) and DS Holdings.

He also says DS Holdings is lying on a number of counts. For example, Zuccarini writes (he’s representing himself):

Then DSH, again tells an outright lie to the court, pg. 2@11-12: “Even Zuccarini has acknowledged that the proposed auction is a prominent and effective domain name auction.” To the contrary, Mr. Zuccarini has expressed that it would be the worst possible avenue to auction the domain names…

Defendant OBJECTS to the lie DSH has told and moves to have this whole pleading quashed and stricken from the record. DSH, ever since this matter was brought before this Court, has made libelous, slanderous, immaterial statements and this Court has stood idly by and allowed it. Now, DSH has resorted to outright lying.

Zuccarini also points out that he’s “clearly not in contempt of anything” since no court order has been directed to Zuccarini “about anything”.

Another wrench in the case: it turns out that the receiver is being represented by DS Holding’s attorneys in another case.

The Court should also be made aware, as it has recently come to my attention of the fact that the attorney’s for DSH, without regard to appearances or ethical standards as it relates to this case, currently represent the receiver Michael Blacksburg as a plaintiff, in ongoing litigation in the Northern District of California.

There is no doubt from the beginning of this action that the receiver Michael Blacksburg has been nothing but an advocate for DSH, from not notifying the Internal Revenue Service at the commencement of the case as he was legally bound to do, to not providing revenue reports as is required by law, until forced to by this Court’s order to do so. In these actions Blacksburg has ignored the duties of a receiver as required by the law to conduct himself as a neutral party in all matters of the case.

Zuccarini asks the court to remove Blacksburg as receiver.

Of course, the domain names are making money as they’re currently parked and apparently making close to $70,000 a year in revenue. Domain Name Wire has obtained a list of the domains at issue. Many of them are generic typos, such as horosope.com, astrolgy.com, and emplyment.com. Others are generics such as BadCreditLoans.com. A couple others might have trademark issues.

As of right now, it appears the majority of the domain names are parked with Dotzup.

One obvious question: why not just keep the domains parked rather than sell them at auction? The first $100,000 will apparently go to the IRS, and then the next tranche to DS Holdings, followed by the IRS again for another about $300,000. It would make sense to sell the domains only if it was for a high multiple that would satisfy the claims quickly.

Stay tuned.


© DomainNameWire.com 2010.

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Related posts:

  1. Woops! Court Appointed Receiver Lets Zuccarini Domains Expire, Auctioned Off on NameJet
  2. Latona’s to Auction Off Remaining Zuccarini Domains at TRAFFIC
  3. Court Denies Emergency Injunction for Zuccarini Domains Sold at NameJet

Latona’s to Auction Off Remaining Zuccarini Domains at TRAFFIC

August 2, 2010domain auction, Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, zuccariniComments Off on Latona’s to Auction Off Remaining Zuccarini Domains at TRAFFIC

Domain names will be auctioned off at TRAFFIC in October if court approves.

Assuming court approval, Rick Latona has scored a coup by getting rights to auction off the remaining domain names owned by John Zuccarini to satisfy a court judgment and U.S. tax lien.

After losing a cybersquatting case to Office Depot, Zuccarini’s domain names were handed to a receiver. That receiver has had his share of challenges, including letting some of the domain names expire. But now the receiver is recommending the remaining domain names be auctioned off at TRAFFIC in Florida this October.

From the proposed order (pdf):

After researching the industry, consulting with Zuccarini, and interviewing multiple domain name auction houses, the Receiver developed an auction strategy to maximize the proceeds from the sale of the Domain Holdings. (Blacksburg Decl. 5- 9.) Specifically, the Receiver determined that the most prominent domain auction in the upcoming twenty-four months is the auction at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Domain Conference & Expo, in Miami, Florida, on October 19, 2010, to be held in conjunction with Latona’s Brokerage & Auction House (hereinafter, the “Auctioneer”). (Id. 6.) T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is considered to be the domain industry’s premier conference, attracting attendees that control over 20 million domain names with 50 million daily unique visitors. (Id. 7.) Latona’s Brokerage & Auction House is considered to be one of the most prominent auction houses for valuable domain names, and is the exclusive domain name auction company for the 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Domain Conference & Expo. (Id. 8.) This auction will allow both live bidding and worldwide Internet-based bidding.

A list of the domain names is not currently available, but it will be interesting to see what’s on the list. Many of Zuccarini’s domain names were typos, and the court has shown concern before that auctioning off typos may be problematic. In 2007, the court wrote:

The Court is concerned, however, with DS Holdings’ ultimate plan to auction off the domain names at issue. As Zuccarini points out, many of the domain names at issue are deliberate misspellings and variations of legitimate domain names, both generic and proprietary. Such names may have legitimate purposes, as counsel argued at the hearing, but they may also be used to misdirect consumers, as apparently Zuccarini himself did.

However, many of the domain names that expired and were auctioned at NameJet were generic typos.

Hat tip: John Berryhill.


© DomainNameWire.com 2010.

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Related posts:

  1. Court Denies Emergency Injunction for Zuccarini Domains Sold at NameJet
  2. Zuccarini Sues NameJet, eNom, VeriSign, and Network Solutions
  3. Woops! Court Appointed Receiver Lets Zuccarini Domains Expire, Auctioned Off on NameJet

Woops! Court Appointed Receiver Lets Zuccarini Domains Expire, Auctioned Off on NameJet

June 4, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, injunction, lawsuits, NameJet, Network Solutions, Policy & Law, zuccariniComments Off on Woops! Court Appointed Receiver Lets Zuccarini Domains Expire, Auctioned Off on NameJet

Domains that were part of legal judgment are accidentally auctioned off.

Congratulations Michael Berkens, you’ve just uncovered a big mess by accident.

On May 25, Berkens wrote about the auctioning off of GovermentGrants.com on NameJet for $53,022. The story also mentions other expired domains that sold on NameJet at the same time, such as USGoverment.com for $4,950, GovermentGrant.com for $3,950, GovermentAuction.com for $2,750, and GovermentAuctions.com $2,500.

But there’s a problem. These domain names were part of the estate of John Zuccarini. Office Depot won a cybersquatting judgment against Zuccarini and later assigned its rights under the judgment to DS Holdings. DS Holdings was to recover part of the penalties against Zuccarini by selling the domain names. The court appointed a receiver, Michael Blacksburg, to hold onto the domains during the lengthy court process. But Blacksburg appears to have dropped the ball and let the domain names expire!

Since the domain names were at Network Solutions, they were automatically sent to auction at NameJet, where just the domains sold on one day topped $65,000 combined. The domains include:

govermentgrants.com
usgoverment.com
govermentgrant.com
govermentauction.com
govermentauctions.com
floridagovernment.com
californiagovernment.com
britian.com
greatbritian.com
dictionarys.com
perscriptiondrugs.com
wresteling.com
wrestleing.com
emailadresses.com

Now the court is being asked for an emergency injunction to lock down the domains. That could be a headache for the new owners of these domain names who bought them on NameJet.

I called Blacksburg yesterday and left a message for comment but he hasn’t responded.

You can read the court filings here (pdf, pdf), which includes as Exhibit A Berkens blog post.


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Related posts:

  1. Receiver Fail: Network Solutions Responds to Expired Domains Sold on NameJet
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