Paul Le Roux found a workaround to domain name suspensions: create his own ICANN-accredited domain name registrar.

Book cover for The Mastermind about Paul Le RouxI just finished reading Evan Ratliff’s book The Mastermind about Paul Le Roux. Le Roux ran a lot of unsavory and illegal businesses starting with an online pharmacy business called RX Limited.

Le Roux used a lot of domain names to sell pills online to U.S. consumers. In addition to operating an illegal service, many of the sites were promoted with spam. He knew that domain registrars would terminate his domain names for doing this so he found a workaround: create his own ICANN-accredited domain name registrar.

Le Roux created domain name registrar ABSystems using someone else’s identity and registered his domains through the registrar.

ICANN terminated the registrar in 2013. ICANN works with another registrar to transfer domains when it shuts down a registrar. Registrars look at this as a way to grow their business; in this case, EnCirca got stuck holding a bag of bad domains.

The detectives who chased Le Roux used Whois and DomainTools to connect the dots.

The Mastermind is a fascinating book in which domain names play a large role.

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