SnapNames Finds Executive Bid On Auctions, Driving Up Prices

SnapNames has recently discovered an executive employed by the company had set up an account on the SnapNames system under a false name and, under this name, bid in SnapNames auctions. They have found the former executive bid on around five per cent of auctions.The company subsequently fired the person on Monday after learning about one month ago saying the transgression was a clear violation of their internal policy and was not approved by the company.The person was later identified as “Halvarez” going by their bidding name, or Nelson Brady, by Domain Name News. He was one of the earliest employees of SnapNames.This conduct affected a small percentage of SnapNames auctions, estimated by the company to be approximately five percent of total SnapNames auctions since 2005, most of which occurred between 2005 and 2007, before SnapNames was acquired by Oversee. To a much lesser extent, auctions in 2008 and 2009 were also impacted.SnapNames has found that in less than one percent of these auctions, the employee won the auction while in the other four percent, the employee lost the auction. The incremental revenue from the bidding represented approximately one percent of SnapNames auction revenues since 2005.SnapNames further discovered that, on certain recent and limited occasions, when the employee won an auction, the employee secretly arranged to refund from SnapNames to the fictitious account a portion of the winning bid amount.To avoid any question about whether SnapNames benefited from this conduct, they will offer a rebate to impacted customers, including 5.22 per cent interest (the highest applicable federal rate during the affected time period), of the difference between the prices they paid in winning auctions, and the prices they would have paid had the employee not bid in the auctions. Impacted customers will be notified by SnapNames or its representative with instructions for the offer of a rebate.SnapNames has already begun notifying customers of the situation.SnapNames also has taken further action to ensure its policies regarding auctions are followed, and the company remains committed to taking whatever action is necessary to protect the integrity of its auction platform.SnapNames is taking the issue extremely seriously, and anyone with any questions should contact them directly. Contact details are support@snapnames.com and 1 (866) 690-6279 (toll-free in the U.S.) and +1 (503) 241-8547 (for those outside the U.S.)