Robert C. Hall, the man who pulls the strings
A few weeks ago we reported on our website (http://www.dotasia-complot.org) about the proximity of the Dotasia Pool.com auctioneer to a network of companies, spread over the Caribbean Island of Barbados (Drake domains Corp.), Ireland (Drake Ventures Limited) and Australia (Throne Ventures Pty Ltd). We reported on our suspicion of possible insider tradings in the auctions of several Asia-domains (. asia) with these companies.
In addition to this, in my view unfortunately and so far fruitless correspondence between the lawyers, there were several other reactions: In the meantime the Domain drakedomainscorp.com was updated in the whois and it shows now not more Mr. Schreier (CEO of auctioneer pool.com) as the domain owner (see here for archive copy). Since first publishing of the dotasia-complot-website, this domain was the most important link between drake and pool in our argumentation to show the proximity. The domain was also the reason why Mr. Schreier was in the center of our investigations.
There were reactions in the international press, in blogs, by mail and also in various forums. In some of these discussions (see DomainNews, see DomainForum, see DomainNameNews) Mr. Schreier tried to present Drake elegantly and simply as a "customer". Same statement we have received from the lawyer of Mr. Schreier, Pool.com and Momentous. The first authorised lawyer has stressed that "neither Mr. Richard Schreier, pool nor momentous has any ownership interest in domains Corporation Drake, Drake Ventures Limited or Throne ventures Pty.Ltd.". No ownership-interests in - their own words - only a customer!
But in the meantime we have new documents from Barbados (PDF 4.6 MB).
These documents confirm the proximity of the corporate conglomerate to the auctioneer pool, and it also contains a new and explosive detail: Director of the company Drake domains Corp. (and also Namescout Corp - see PDF 5.1 MB) is Robert C. Hall - the Chairman of auctioneer Pool.com and shareholder and managing director of the company Momentous (Momentous is the owner of auctioneer pool.com). Please have a look also to the in-deep information below.
From my point of view, they became completely discredited in their statement, Drake ist "just" a customer from pool. A customer, where the CEO is Mr. Robert Hall (See in-deep information below). How deep Mr. Schreier is involved in the complot - more over his ownership of drakedomainscorp.com until April 2008, this actualy still remains open.
Whether all this is criminal insider trading or not - this is a job for the national public authorities and courts and of course also for the responsible persons at DotAsia, which still see us only as "a disgruntled .Asia customer". The facts should be taken a little bit more seriously from the registry, from our point of view.
The reaction from Mr. Chung, ceo of dotasia in his public statement from 14.May 2008 was (again) very curious. He tried to tell us that in an english style auction system no insider trading is possible, because "auctions are automatically extended for a substantial amount of time (24 hours)".
We think, that also in an english style auction system insiders have a significant advantage over other bidders: They knows the maximum bids from all the other auction participants. If the auction is automaticly extended by 24h or not, is irrelevant. If one party can see the maximum bids and the others cannot, the integrity of the whole platform is not given. If the knowledge of the maximum bids is no problem, why this knowledge is not given to every participant. But explicit this is not implemented this way, no participant can see the maximum bids in dotasia-auctions on the pool-platform. Only an insider can see this. And there are very good reasons, why the maximum bidding price is hidden and why it is implemented as it is done. If you see the maximum bids from the others and they do not vice versa, you have an advantage over the others. Because you can act different than they can, this is what Mr. Chung describe a "fair process" ? Are he realy serious? What about other ways to manipulate ? We see a lot of interest conflicts.
In the last weeks we and our provider were in contact with dotasia in several emails. I have published this mail-communication on our website for the interested community, too. I think as a result of our communication dotasia published an other special advisory on July 4th 2008, in which they try to address the conflict of interest we pointed out. But this document tries to legitimate retroactively what Drake and Mr. Hall have done. In our eyes, this document was published a few months too late. In our eyes Drake have still to be excluded from the relevant auctions, based on the rules which were valid since we and they submitted the sunrise-applications.
We will keep the community up to date.
Regards from Germany,
Madunia Modellbau GmbH
In-Deep and additional Information:
A few weeks ago, the new top level domain .Asia started, initially with a sunrise period in which trademark owners was able to register their domains. Have there been more applicants, the domain come to auction. Also in Landrush (the next phase) domains come to auction if there were more than one candidate. As auction plattform die registry dotAsia choose the canadian based company Pool.com.
But under shady circumstances some competitors for the top domains stands more than closely to the auctioneer. So valuable Topdomains for millions went to companies, where Robert C.Hall the managing director is, the same person who is chairman of the auctioneer (Pool.com), who is also managing director of the company which owns the auctioneer pool.com. He and his personly involved members of staff like Shanna Laughton and Richard Schreier naturally was able to exploit the maximum bids of all competitors.
Mr. Hall is chairman of the company Pool.Com (auctioneer for Dotasia), managing director of Momentous.ca - a company which, according to their own Website, invests to other companies with an annual profit of over $ 30 million each. After further information on their website, Mr. Hall is in the Internet industry a recognized expert and already spoke before organisations such as WIPO, ICANN and the U.S. and Canadian governments. According to their website, 1998 he was a member of the "e-commerce and domain name taskforce" of the canadian government. Mr. Hall is also co-founder of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), the registry for .ca domains. In addition, he founded several other internet companies, Momentous.ca too.