Domain Investor Connection to Alleged Russian Spy via NYCRentals.com

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Anna ChapmanI read a Tech Crunch article about Anna Chapman, a woman who was recently arrested for allegedly being a Russian spy in the United States. The Tech Crunch article writes that Chapman is the founder of the New York real estate search engine website, NYCRentals.com. She is shown in the embedded video discussing her company, and TC reports that the video was filmed during New York Entrepreneur Week, which was held April 12th-16th, 2010.

When I saw this domain name mentioned, my eyes grew bigger because I recognized the name. According to a Whois history search, the domain name was transferred to Moniker Privacy Service sometime around June 22, 2010. I don’t want to mention who the previous owner was because it’s very likely he had nothing to do with the buyer.

Perhaps a telling line from the video was when Chapman mentioned, “we are trying to do NYCRentals.com” in response to the interviewer’s mention of her corporate entity known as Property Finder. When the video was filmed in April, the domain name had not yet changed hands.

Interestingly, the domain name was just listed in Ron Jackson’s recent domain sales report, which was published a couple of weeks ago. The domain name sold through Moniker for a reported $25,350, good enough to place #11 on the weekly sales list, and probably good enough to rank as one of the highest yearly domain sales.

It appears that this business hadn’t been around very long, and Chapman certainly didn’t own the domain name until recently.

4 COMMENTS

  1. It’s quite a fascinating story. Maybe she was just an entrepreneur at heart and perhaps helping her father (KGB) on the spy assignment allowed her to get the seed money for her internet venture.

    In an interview with her ex-husband that appeared in the Telegraph (UK), he said, “she moved over there to set up her internet property company and it always seemed to be in the red, but it took off suddenly in 2009 and she said she was employing 50 people.

    Perhaps she was hoping to build NYCrentals.com into something like Westsiderentals.com (in Los Angeles).

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