The first ever domain theft arrest was made in the theft of the domain name p2p.com, which was stolen and then re-sold to Los Angeles Clipper forward, Mark Madsen.
New Jersey state police arrested 25-year old Daniel Goncalves for suspected domain theft. It’s been reported that Goncalves hacked into the email account of the P2P.com owner, then used information found in the email account to hack into the owner’s GoDaddy account. Goncalves then transferred the name to himself and listed it for sale on eBay. At this point, Mark Madsen, a forward for the Los Angeles Clippers, purchased the name for $111,000.
P2P.com, which is short for peer-to-peer file sharing, is considered a high value domain name.
The purchase is not the first for Madsen, an active domainer who, in the past, has purchased such names as InternetDating.com, Denial.com, and Carbohydrates.com. Madsen had no knowledge that he purchased a stolen name. Reportedly, even though Madsen purchased a stolen name, his purchase is valid and he remains the owner of the name.
Since his arrest, Goncalves has been charged with three offenses: theft by unlawful taking or deception, identity theft and computer fraud.
P2P.com’s original owner is now engaged in a dispute with GoDaddy and has filed a civil suit against the Registrar claiming negligence on their part.
The arrest, considered the first of its kind, has pushed the issue of domain name theft to the forefront with articles in the associated press and LA Times.