The arrest warrant for the 4 people (including Sahar Sarid) involved in the Mugshots.com case is circulating the internet and here are a few interesting facts and comments. You can read the first post about the arrest here.
Here is an extract of the arrest document talking about Sahar Sarid and whether he is the owner of Mugshots.com or not:
“In 2011, Mugshots.com began to receive negative media attention, and SARID sold the company to “Michael Robertson” through eBay. Either Robertson does not exist, or he is a straw person making no decisions in the company. Despite the eBay sale, SARID retained ownership of Mugshots.com, and in 2011, conspired with others to create the takedown website, hiring Thomas KEESEE, the owner of Hammermill & Masterson LLC, to operate the sale and customer service. The takedown website later transitioned to Unpublisharrest.com”
(It transitioned to Unpublisharrest.com from Unpublish.com.)
Then the investigation simply followed the money trail:
“Hammermill & Masterson LLC bank account records produced by Wells Fargo Bank reveal that from June 16, 2016 through February 16, 2017, numerous payments were made to a business account, DigiCard LLC, at Bank of America. The payments totaled $245,398,98, and averaged $27,266.55 per month.”
“A puclic database search via Texas Comptroller indicated that DigiCard LLC was formed in Texas in 2003 by Manager Shunit Sarid, SARID’s sister, with a Texas Taxpayer number of ________. Public database records indicate the business address of DigiCard, LLC to be SARID’s residence, ______________________. ” […]
“The Sarid family appears to profit from the Mugshots.com domain. Sahar SARID is the owner, and his mother Aliza Sarid handles some of the financial transactions as indicated by e-mail records produced by Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. Profits generated from the Unpublisharrest.com website are transferred into the Hammermill & Masterson account, and then laundered through DigiCard LLC. This would indicate Sahar SARID is continuing to profit from the Mugshots.com business.”
The Australian web hosting company
The Australian web hosting company referenced in the arrest document must be Fabulous.com. This is the registrar that the domain name mugshots.com is registered with. Fabulous is an ICANN accredited registrar and from what I know they don’t do web hosting. And Mugshots.com is using nameservers that point to the fact that it is using Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its web hosting.
The arrest document shows that Amazon was included in the search warrants.
Unpublish.com and unpublisharrest.com are using CloudFlare.com for webs hosting.
Domain name Whois
Domain name Whois (that ICANN is determined to kill soon because of GDPR) offer more insights.
All 4 domains unpublish.com, unpublisharrest.com, mug-shots.com and mugshots.com use the same whois details including email, address and phone number. The only differences are that unpublisharrest.com is registered with Moniker.com, a different ICANN accredited registrar (while the other 3 domains are at Fabulous) and that someone name “Peter Frampton” is the alleged owner of this domain name. Just like “Michael Robertson” above, “Peter Frampton” might not exist at all.
Google was also included in the search warrants, possibly because (among other things) of the gmail email address included in the whois of these 4 domain names.
Mugshots.com has been using fake domain name whois privacy for years. This is just a gmail account that says “email@example.com”. This is not the Fabulous.com whois privacy. And somehow I have a feeling that there is no company called “International Whois Privacy Services Limited” in Belize.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerraheld press conference
California Attorney General Xavier Becerraheld a press conference on what he called a “Cyber Exploitation Case”.
He announced the charges against the 4 defendants who allegedly operated an exploitative website publishing personal information of individuals without their consent. The website also solicited a “de-publishing” fee for the removal of information.
Here is the video from the press conference:
It is important to note that a criminal indictment contains charges that are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.