Domain taken. Worth reporting?

A friend of mine whose not really techy made the mistake of having a “trusted” employee handle the domain, hosting and website for his company. The company then went bankrupt, friend started up a new company, thinking he could continue using the website, but got knocked back for the merchant account. In the meantime, trusted employee moved website to his server and sold ads on it.

I’ve advised friend of the legal process he needs to go through to recover the domain. Not sure of his chances as it wasn’t trademarked. Question is really as he knows the perp is it worth reporting to the fraud squad?


If the company went bankrupt them in most countries the domain would actually belong to the official receiver for them to dispose of as they see fit to meet the liabilities outstanding from the company - so neither party would have any right to the domain, but could purchase it from the receiver.


So the company paid for the domain? If the domain is under the company then your friend has the right to get the domain BUT not get his former employee arrested. If he filed a case, the best outcome would be the domain will be given to your friend.

I don’t think the former employee will get jail time.

I believe you need to visit lawyer. Have some consultation and then decide what to do.

Is the domain worth the legal fees? If so you may have a case, but it would be better if you consulted an attorney. The police will be of no help, you can only solve this matter in court.

Absolutely. Police does not coordinate such issues at all

I agree. Police will not take care of that at all.

A court would probably question your friend as to just how valuable the domain is to him, as it appears that so much time has transpired. Not being aware of how the domain registration and ownership process works is most likely not valid justification for a claim of theft. (unfortunately)

Probably not. Most law enforcement officials have no idea as to digital related crimes because their used to dealing directly with the public rather than policing an open system through a terminal. If the business itself owned the domain (and the business no longer exists due to bankruptcy) I think you may well be out of luck because ICANN will use the registrant information from WHOIS records as the legal owner (and I’m guessing he’ll have changed it already). :slight_smile:

I know domain thiefs have been tried and convicted, but do the police actually arrest and charge people for the crime?

I really doubt much help will come from the police, other than some vague advice.

If domain name belongs to your former employee I’m afraid nothing can be done in this situation. From your story I understand that he (she) does have full control over the domain name you used to use.

If the domain was on your friends name and carried all his contact details including email, then he can fight back.

Good luck.

its a country specific domain, whois shows the company name and address (or at least the old one that went bankrupt), but yes the employee has full control over the domain including his own email address.

If the domain was being paid by the company (the employee was reimbursed for the domain registration costs) I suppose that the employee could lose control over it in a court of law. After all, just because you send an employee to buy light bulbs, it doesn’t mean that the bulbs are his for the taking. :slight_smile:

I don’t think he’s particularly bothered about the site, and doesn’t have the funds to pay a lawyer to try and recover it. tbh I think it’s a revenge thing. He knows the guy and wants to see him prosecuted for the theft. I guess he asked me the question before he walks into a police station only to be told to go and get a lawyer. I know domain thiefs have been tried and convicted, but do the police actually arrest and charge people for the crime?