Man impersonates lawyer to take over domain names

A Las Vegas man has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud for impersonating an intellectual property lawyer and threatening to sue owners of certain Internet domain names.

David Dominic Scali, 28, will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on the charge in the coming weeks.

According to court documents, from June 26, 2006, to July 6, 2006, Scali used an alias to set up an e-mail account from which he sent e-mails to various domain name owners claiming to be an intellectual property lawyer. Scali threatened to file US$100,000 trademark infringement lawsuits against the owners of the Web site names unless they gave up their domain name registrations within two days.

In some of the e-mails, Scali, who sometimes used a name with the initials E.R., claimed to be an attorney affiliated with a law firm in New York. In other e-mails, he said he was a lawyer located in central California whose name began with the initials K.Y.C. and.

"These statements would reasonably influence the registered owners to part with the URLs and at lease one owner did, in fact, part with a URL that she rightfully owned," according to the court documents. "As part of the scheme, on or about June 29, 2006, defendant caused the interstate transmission by wire of one such fraudulent e-mail from Nevada to Colorado."

The wire fraud concerned a victim who surrendered a URL that was similar to www.citysearch.com. In his plea agreement, Scali admitted that he intended to obtain the domain names for his own personal financial gain.

The maximum statutory sentence for the wire fraud charge is 20 years in federal prison. However, prosecutors have recommended a sentence ranging from probation to six months in prison. The sentencing judge will make the final determination about Scali's sentence.

As part of the plea agreement, Scali will need the approval of his probation officer to use a computer, a handheld device, a cell phone or any other piece of equipment to access the Internet, or to access an Internet service provider.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Linda Rosencrance

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?