In SnapNames Scandal, Conspiracy Theorists Were (Sort of) Right
Conspiracy theorists were right about SnapNames bidder.
Domain Name News has confirmed that the bidder at the center of the SnapNames employee bidding controversy used the handle “Halvarez”. Domainers have questioned Halvarez’s bidding patterns for years, as DNN discovered.
Domainers are particularly adept at online research. But a lot of times they cook up bogus conspiracy theories. Like the guy who swore NameJet was shill bidding, until I quickly pointed out that the person who kept beating him at auction was Frank Schilling.
But this time rampant speculation about Halvarez at SnapNames was actually warranted. Many people speculated that Halvarez was SnapNames, which was incorrect. But the connection was certainly there.
On December 12, 2007, DNForum member Seraphim wrote:
I believe halvarez is SnapNames, regardless of the fact that he/she bids on domains, or even wins auctions. A year ago, I could spot which domains in my drop list would not have competitive bidders, I would obviously delete these names from my account, and pick them up at reg fee once they dropped. However, for a solid 8 months now I cannot do this, as halvarez bids on every single domain that I enter into my SnapNames drop list. I could enter the shittiest name possible up for drops, and there is a 100% chance halvarez will be there. The kicker is however, if I don’t enter the name into my SnapNames auction list, you guessed it, it drops with no bids and I pick it up at reg fee. Anyone from SnapNames care to explain this phenomenon?
Other forum members also speculated about some sort of connection, but some pointed out that what Halvarez was doing didn’t require inside access to SnapNames.
Now the next question on everyone’s mind is, “shouldn’t SnapNames have discovered this earlier”?
Perhaps. Keep in mind the problem began in 2005, before Oversee.net bought SnapNames. A lot of changes have happened since then. And over the summer, Craig Snyder took over management of SnapNames and Moniker. That meant a fresh pair of eyes was looking over the books. Surely the issue of who this prolific bidder was came up then if it hadn’t before.
The SnapNames employee “stole” money from the company be refunding part of his purchases. I doubt senior management at SnapNames would let that happen. But I’m sure more will be dug up soon, so stay tuned.