Feeds

Sex.com thief appears in court

Details emerge of dramatic arrest

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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Cohen's residency had been revoked following divorce from his third wife, Rosa Montano, and he took it upon himself to refresh his status rather than pay a lawyer.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

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.