After almost five years on the run, the conman who stole the most valuable domain name in the world, sex.com, was today handed over to US authorities.
The arrest of Stephen Cohen, 57, is the latest twist in the most extraordinary legal epic from the dot.com boom: a virtual tug-of-war which became a multi-million dollar feud, stretching from the bandit country of Mexico to the tax-exiles’ hideaway of Monte Carlo.
In the end, its conclusion was prosaic. Cohen, who has served three prison terms for fraud, was arrested yesterday in Tijuana as he applied for a work permit.
He was turned over to agents of the US Border Patrol, according to Deputy Marshal Tania Tyler, and is being held without bail at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in San Diego.
Cohen is being questioned over his failure to pay $65 million to entrepreneur Gary Kremen, the original owner of the sex.com domain, in a court judgement reached in April 2001.
“I’m excited, and I’m happy to prepare for the next stage of justice,” said Mr Kremen.
The convoluted and long-running legal skirmish began in the early, innocent days at the dawn of the internet.