Thursday, July 21, 2011

University of Puerto Rico Files lawsuit against Dr Oscar Moreno de Ayala, the .pr thief

The University of Puerto Rico(UPR) has filed  a lawsuit against a former employee, Oscar Moreno . Dr Moreno de Ayala changed the domain's registration details from the University to his company upon retirement in 2007 and has been managing the .pr domain registrations ever since.
Dr Oscar Moreno(Centre) with former ICANN Chair Vint Cerf(left) and former President and CEO of ICANN Paul Twomey in 2007

 The acting director of the Office of Legal Affairs, Central Administration of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Martha Velez Gonzalez, has stated that the second level domain and the top level domain. .pr, were quietly transferred from the university "without authorization." as earlier covered on this blog.

Velez Gonzalez explained that Oscar Moreno de Ayala, a ccNSO member at ICANN and former member of the Faculty of the university put his personal interests first before the interests of the university. For the last four years, he has been managing the .pr ccTLD as a personal empire, disguising himself as a Puerto Rican representative, he even states that he's running the .pr ccTLD in 'partnership' with the University of Puerto Rico. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The affair is currently under investigation by the Puerto Rican senate and has even been brought up at ICANN.

The official stated that .pr was previously under the administration of the University's Gauss Research Laboratory but in 2007, it illegally changed hands to a "nonprofit" called Gauss Research Labs  Inc that is owned by Dr Oscar Moreno de Ayala. We have illustrated in the previous post how Dr. Oscar Moreno executed this theft and how he was literally running the .pr ccTLD from his bedroom, charging registrants as much as $1000 to register .pr second level domain names. What is shocking to many is why it took four years for this to be brought up!!!

Dr Oscar Moreno de Ayala is said to have diverted as much as $2 million in the last four years from the revenue collections from .pr domain registrations for personal benefit.

"Dr. Oscar Moreno de Ayala, now former member of the faculty of the University, created a nonprofit corporation (initially) with the same name to the Gauss Laboratory of the UPR to strip the University and retain for itself the control of the domain. pr., "said Velez Gonzalez.

The representative of the president of the UPR, Miguel Muñoz, said that university never authorized the "transfer" of  the domain, or the top level domain. pr . (gobierno is Spanish for government or gov)In fact, Dr Moreno casually assumed responsibility of the ccTLD by executing the fraud and hoodwinking ICANN into believeing that the administrative and technical contacts for UPR had been changed to his new "nonprofit."

A Puerto Rican Senator, Melinda Romero Donnelly, who heads the Commission, will Moreno de Ayala to explain what happened to the domains in question.

The university is currently in legal dispute and the court issued an order which prohibits GRL, Inc. from transferring the .pr registry to a new investor during the litigation period, a process that we understand, was already in motion transfer the domain.

If this can happen in Puerto Rico then it can happen Africa and we will be having a closer look at how and who manages some of these lesser known African ccTLDs.

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