In March of 2012, I published an article about the government seizure of the Escorts.com domain name. A press release on the FBI website from November of 2011 discloses that the Escorts.com domain name would be seized:
“Pursuant to a plea agreement with the government, National A-1 Advertising and R.S. Duffy pleaded guilty to the money laundering conspiracy charge in the Information, will serve a probation term of 18 months, and pay a $1,500,000 fine. In addition, under the terms of the plea agreement, the defendants agreed to the criminal forfeiture of $4.9 million in cash derived from the unlawful activity, as well as forfeiture of the domain name, Escorts.com, all of which represent property used to facilitate the commission of the offenses.”
According to current Whois records, Escorts.com expired. If you visit the Escorts.com domain name, you can see a link to renew the domain name and a link to backorder the domain name. Atypically, I do not see any PPC links on this domain registrar-generated landing page. This is likely due to the content that would be automatically generated for the domain name.
The domain name is registered at Network Solutions, and the current registrant is listed as PERFECT PRIVACY, LLC, the privacy proxy service associated with the registrar. The name servers are set to the standard PENDINGRENEWALDELETION.COM nameservers associated with expired domain names.
Historical Whois Records from DomainTools from as recently as February 20, 2020 show the registrant of Escorts.com as “Marshals Service, United States.” The registrant email address for the domain name at that time was an @usdoj.gov email address. It looks like the Marshals Service had the domain name beginning in 2014.
Because the domain name is in expired status, it may come up for auction on NameJet. As you can see, there are quite a few bidders already, and the landing page shows an Estibot valuation of $1 million:
I think there are ways to use Escorts.com.com in a manner that does not break any laws, but it remains to be seen if anyone will get that opportunity. If the domain name is renewed, it will not go to auction. Should it not be renewed, it is quite possible that Web.com, parent company of Network Solutions and NameJet, will add the domain name to its New Venture Services portfolio in lieu of sending it to auction. This is something I have noticed with several valuable domain names of late. My guess is the USDOJ has received numerous inquiries from domain investors already and the domain name will be renewed.
Given the seizure of this domain name, it is surprising to see it in an expired status.