Howard Nelson Brady, the former SnapNames VP and alleged shill-bidder known as “halvarez”, was chasing a $1.5 million performance-related bonus, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday.
SnapNames and its parent, Oversee.net, have sued Brady for $33 million, claiming he used the pseudonym “Hank Alvarez” and his privileged access to SnapNames’ auction platform to artificially inflate the sale prices of auctioned domain names.
According to the complaint, Brady started his alleged shill-bidding in order to boost SnapNames’ revenues and boost his potential “earn-out” from the June 2007 acquisition of SnapNames by Oversee.
“The purchase of the SnapNames business was based almost entirely on projections extrapolated from past revenues of SnapNames, which had been artificially inflated by Defendant Brady’s shill-bidding,” the complaint says.
Oversee further claims that, following the acquisition, Brady set about embezzling money from the company by buying domains using his “halvarez” account and then refunding himself some of the purchase price.
The company alleges he made $175,000 that way, before suspicious activity was noticed on his account.
“Hank Alvarez” had a mail drop, a Paypal account, and sometimes sent emails to Brady, which were then forwarded to other members of staff, the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit is seeking a mountain of cash. Clearly, Oversee and SnapNames are not pulling any punches when it comes to attempting to restore their reputation.
The bulk of the $33 million is made up of punitive damages, but Oversee also wants Brady’s entire salary and other compensation for the period while the alleged activities were taking place.
You can read the complaint in PDF format here.