Domain brokerage alleged that domain investor duped it out of $250,000.
Domain name brokerage VPN.com has dismissed a lawsuit against George Dikian, the pseudonym of domain investor Eitan Zviely.
VPN alleged that domain investors George Dikian and Qiang Du conspired to trick VPN.com into sending bitcoin in a fake domain transaction.
The domain broker said Du approached it in March 2022 about buying 89 .com. VPN determined that George Dikian owned the domain. After making contact via email with someone claiming to be Dikian, VPN brokered a deal.
VPN alleged that Dikian insisted on using an escrow service called Intermediar to close the transaction because it could facilitate the payment in bitcoin.
Here’s where the alleged scam came to a head. The person purporting to be Du said he couldn’t pay with bitcoin because he’s in China, which has a complete ban on cryptocurrencies. So Dikian agreed to accept $2 million through Intermediar and a $250,000 payment in bitcoin from VPN, which VPN would send after it got its broker commission payout from Intermediar.
Intermediar informed VPN that it had received the funds, the deal was complete, and payouts would be forthcoming. VPN prematurely sent the $250,000 bitcoin payment, only to find out later that the deal was not complete and it was all a scam.
VPN sued Dikian and Du but quickly dropped Du from the lawsuit. It continued to pursue Dikian, who denied the allegations and said that his email account was likely hacked and he had nothing to do with the scam.
Today, lawyers for VPN filed a notice of voluntary dismissal with prejudice (meaning it can’t be refiled). The notice states that the dismissal is without costs and is with no payment made by either party.