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A Miami lawyer has filed a class-action lawsuit against domain nameauction site SnapNames.com, after the company announced that a formeremployee was bidding against potential customers in domain nameauctions.

Attorney Santiago Cueto filed the lawsuit Monday inMiami-Dade County Circuit Court on behalf of his brother, Carlos Cueto,and others who participated in SnapNames.com's online auctions. Thelawsuit alleges that a former vice president at SnapNames.com secretlybid on tens of thousands of domain name auctions over the past fouryears, leading to falsely inflated prices.

Some of the SnapNamesauctions run into the tens of thousands of dollars, Santiago Cuetosaid. His brother, who owns about 3,000 domain names, has longsuspected shill bidding in some domain name auctions, he said.

"He's been frustrated by the process for years," Santiago Cueto said. "I think the entire industry needs to be cleaned up."

SnapNames.com,a subsidiary of Oversee.net, sent out notices last week that it haddiscovered the employee bidding on domain name auctions. SnapNames,which resells expired domain names, calls itself the largest resalemarketplace for domain names. The company runs hundreds of auctions aday, it says on its Web sites.



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