An American man has been accused of stealing internet addresses price greater than $9m (£7m) by US prosecutors.
Amir Golestan of South Carolina is alleged to have tricked an organisation that controls some internet addresses into handing them over.
In complete, Mr Golestan gained management of greater than 750,000 addresses.
The addresses are priceless as a result of the massive pool of them used from the early days of the web is coming near operating dry.
The US Division of Justice claims that Mr Golestan “fraudulently” gained management of the web addresses through the use of many various shell corporations.
It alleges that he created web sites for faux corporations and invented the names of the individuals who purportedly ran them as a part of his scheme.
Mr Golestan was charged with 20 counts of wire fraud in a US courtroom this week. He has but to reply to a BBC request for remark.
The online addresses have been handed over to Mr Golestan by the American Registry of Web Numbers (Arin) – one among a number of regional directors that dole out the few remaining addresses. It’s claimed they have been then resold permitting him to money in.
In an announcement, Arin stated that it began a separate investigation into Mr Golestan after he made a mistake on paperwork filed to say a block of addresses.
Mr Golestan sued when Arin refused to switch management of the addresses. The day earlier than the case went to courtroom, Arin claims, Mr Golestan determined he wouldn’t testify and as a substitute invoked the US Structure’s Fifth Modification.
Amongst different issues, this broad modification offers defendants the suitable to refuse to reply questions that might incriminate them.
The collapse of that case led to Mr Golestan being investigated by the FBI and charged by federal prosecutors over the alleged $9m theft.
It additionally gave Arin the ability to take over the web addresses Mr Golestan managed. He should additionally pay its charges of $350,000.