Feeds

Sex.com thief appears in court

Details emerge of dramatic arrest

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Following his dramatic arrest late last week Sex.com thief Stephen Cohen has appeared before a judge in San Diego and been ordered to face the $65m judgement lodged against him nearly five years ago.

Cohen confirmed that he was the man named in an arrest warrant from May 2001. Dishevelled and dressed in a white jail-issue jumpsuit he asked for a court-appointed lawyer and said he hoped to resolve the issue soon, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The 57-year-old Cohen, reputed to have a genius level IQ, also claimed: "I don't have a lot of financial wherewithal." Federal Judge Leo S. Papas was not persuaded. "I think you'll find some disagreement on that from some quarters," he said, refusing bail.

Cohen will now be sent north to San Jose where he will face Judge James Ware - the same judge that presided over the Sex.com court case in 1998.

Cohen's theft of the world's most valuable domain in 1995 netted him at least $100m but when its original owner, Gary Kremen, finally won the case, Cohen fled to Mexico and refused to pay the $65m judgement against him.

Despite having chased him all over the world for more than seven years, Gary Kremen told us that he drew no great pleasure from his nemesis' incarceration. "I don't wish anyone having to be tossed in jail. Even Stephen Cohen. If the guy would just do what the court says he has to do, he would be out of jail. Why doesn't he just do it?"

Meanwhile, more details of Cohen's arrest have emerged. It turns out the arrest of his daughter from his second marriage, 21-year-old Jhuliana, in June was the turning point.

Jhuliana Cohen was arrested for attempting to smuggle marijuana across the US border at San Ysidro. A spokeswoman for the US Department for Homeland Security told us she was "using a special dedicated lane for trusted travellers and had special privileges".

Following her arrest, immigration agents learnt of Stephen Cohen's outstanding arrest warrant and notified the Mexican authorities, who began looking for him. Cohen, it was later discovered, was living in a penthouse apartment in the expensive Chapultepec district of border-town Tijuana. However it was when Cohen personally applied for a residency permit with the Mexican immigration authorities that he was identified and arrested.

Cohen's residency had been revoked following divorce from his third wife, Rosa Montano, and he took it upon himself to refresh his status rather than pay a lawyer. Mexican immigration officers handed Cohen over to their US counterparts at the US consultate and from there he was transported to San Ysidro and handed over to US marshals. He currently resides in jail in San Diego until his transportation north.

His daughter meanwhile is due in the same court in San Diego on Monday to face the smuggling charges. Her defence lawyers say she had simply made a mistake when she was persuaded to transport the drugs over the border by a man she met in a bar.

Although Kremen had nothing to do with Cohen and Jhuliana's arrests, he had nonetheless been putting pressure on the family. Earlier this month, Kremen got a court order that allowed him to open Cohen's mail and uncover some of his assets. Cohen had put some of his businesses into his daughter's name, including a strip club in downtown Tijuana. Kremen also hired law firm Osuna & Rivero, specialists in enforcement of US judgments in Mexico, to bring Cohen to book.

Now caught in the US legal system and with none of his previous lawyers apparently around to represent him, Cohen's luck appears to have finally run out. It will take far more than his legendary silver tongue this time to get past a determined Judge Ware and Gary Kremen.

Related link

San Diego Union-Tribune story

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.