Readers are doubtless familiar with my first and second posts on the situation at The High Road (THR) forum. Briefly, the tech support administrator, Mr. Derek Zeanah, has misappropriated the domain name; locked all others except himself and his cronies out of high-level access to the board; and is insisting he shares ownership of the forum. The evidence contradicting his claims is overwhelming, as shown in my earlier posts.
He now appears to have compounded his earlier shenanigans, and added insult to injury. According to Oleg Volk, the (rightful) owner of THR, and also of another forum, Armed Polite Society (APS):
At the start of this week, I asked Derek to make the database of armedpolitesociety.com available to my designates for backing it up to other servers. He dragged his feet but promised to make it available on Thursday. That didn't happen.
When I called him, he said that he was busy. It's the same claim he made to THR staff. Asked when he would make APS database available, he said: "I talked to a couple of moderators on THR and I think it should be part of the whole settlement with THR. I won't release it."
Feel free to publicize this event.
I own armedpolitesociety.com domain name, so I can move the forum. I would prefer to move it with the current content intact. My lawyer will be in contact with his.
If this is the case, then Mr. Zeanah's arrogance can only be described as breathtaking. Not content with stealing one forum, he's now trying to hold a second forum hostage, in the hope it can help him escape the consequences of his criminal actions! As one member of APS commented:
This last step of Derek's was the proverbial last straw. I have refrained from posting as I could not couch my reply in civil terms.
There is no other way to describe Derek's actions other than betrayal, and pure theft. Driven by greed and a massive inferiority complex. I hope you drag him into court and he gets thrown in the pit.
Given enough rope, he will hang himself. I see he has cornered the market on that twisted fiber substance.
I've also been trying to find out more about the financial situation at THR. I'm informed that Mr. Zeanah claims that he's borne the costs of THR for a prolonged period, and cites this as grounds for his claim for part- or co-ownership of the forum. However, as stated in earlier posts, I was under the impression that any time money was needed, it had been provided by staff and/or a public fund-raiser. No accounts were ever presented by Mr. Zeanah to support his claims: and no belated or ex post facto accounting now submitted can be accepted as true and accurate. He's had almost six years to submit such accounts, and has never done so. After his recent actions, any retrospective accounting will be immediately suspect, as potentially "cooking the books". I certainly won't accept it as valid or authentic grounds for any claim, and I doubt very much whether others will (particularly the courts).
I was of the opinion that if Mr. Zeanah abandoned his (dishonest and untrue) claim to part- or co-ownership of THR, and returned its domain name and all assets to Oleg, it might be worth allowing him to walk away from the mess he's created. No longer. In the light of these developments, I now believe that only a felony conviction and appropriate jail sentence will adequately address his having compounded his initial crime by his most recent (and equally dishonest) actions.
I've had some useful feedback from my former colleagues in the US Department of Justice. I'll be seeing the local US Attorney next week (I've already made an appointment), and I'll lay all the details before him, with a request that he forward them to whichever US Attorney has the best claim to jurisdiction in this matter (there are three candidates). I'm also aware that at least four District Attorneys have now been contacted, in various jurisdictions, and that matters are in hand to press charges under State laws as well. I'm hopeful that Mr. Zeanah will face multiple criminal charges, in multiple jurisdictions, and be convicted in all of them. (This is, of course, over and above the civil case that Oleg's preparing, which I fully expect him to win, and which should result in substantial damages being assessed against Mr. Zeanah.)
I hope and trust that all law-abiding users of the Internet will note Mr. Zeanah's name, and that of his company, Well Built Networks (as well as any other companies he may currently operate or set up in future). If they know anyone currently using the services of either, or considering using them, I hope they'll advise such current or prospective customers about the present state of affairs concerning THR and APS. It's the responsible (and neighborly) thing to do.
Strange how some people, whom one once thought to be trustworthy and honest, can turn out to be beneath contempt: and even stranger that they can't see the damage they have done, and continue to do, to themselves, their reputation and their future prospects. As the proverb reminds us, "There are none so blind as those who will not see."