The lawyer for the thief of Sex.com domain name survives assasination attempt.
The lawyer for Stephen Cohen, who stole the domain name Sex.com in 1995, has survived a gangland style assasination attempt in Mexico.
This is the latest twist in what is perhaps the biggest criminal saga in the history of domain names; one that will soon be documented in a book. Here’s a quick recap:
-1994: Gary Kremen registers Sex.com
-1995: Stephen Cohen calls Network Solutions and tricks them into transferring the domain to him
-2001: Kremen wins a court battle. Cohen ordered to return domain and pay $65M+. Cohen flees to Mexico.
-2005: Cohen captured and returned to United States. While in jail, Cohen says he has no idea where his assets are so he can’t pay Kremen.
-2006: Sex.com sells for a reported $12M. In December court releases Cohen to give him time to “find” his assets.
Shortly thereafter, the lawyer for Cohen was attaked in Tijuana. His vehicle was riddled with bullets. The driver and a four year old passenger were injured by the lawyer escaped injury.
According to an article in Red Herring, several people Kremen has hired to help collect the judgement have received threats. These threats may have originated from Cohen’s lawyer. Kremen said he wouldn’t be surprised if some of these people are fighting back. Kremen also said he fears for his life.
Or perhaps Cohen himself was behind the attack. Kieren McCarthy, who is writing the book about the saga, says:
Why could Cohen be behind it?
Because Cortez was his Mexican lawyer. And it’s immediately occurred to me that it may be Cortez that was the mysterious figure that offered to give details of Cohen’s accounts for a 10 percent cut. I should have figured it out before but Kremen and his attorneys have always refused to discuss the identity of the person. Cohen would have known more than anyone and it makes sense that Cortez could have been the one – Cortez has no morals at all.
And he was in need of money. This year he was kidnapped and held to ransom. This happens occasionally in Mexico, particularly in trouble spots like Tijuana. Everyone assumed Cortez was dead but he paid a reported $1 million. So he was heavily out of pocket. He could have offered Kremen’s team a deal.
McCarthy also gives reasons why Cohen may not be behind the attack.
Who would have thought a simple domain registration could cause so much turmoil?