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28 October 2005
Former SoCal man accused of stealing porn site arrested in Mexico
Associated Press

A man accused of stealing a pornographic Web site and making millions of dollars from it was arrested by Mexican authorities.

Stephen Michael Cohen, 57, was taken into custody Thursday as he applied for a work permit and was turned over to U.S. authorities, said Tania Tyler, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals Service, which tracks down fugitives.

He is due to appear in federal court in San Diego Friday.

"It's good that justice is served," said Gary Kremen, 41, who fought Cohen for years over the sex.com Web site. "It actually says something about border cooperation."

The lucrative Web site primarily hosts ads for other sex-related sites. Kremen said he spent $4.5 million in legal fees trying to regain control of it.

A federal judge in 2000 found that Cohen had hijacked the domain name by forging a letter from Kremen's company. The judge ordered Cohen to return the site and pay Kremen $65 million.

Cohen failed to appear in court after the judgment was entered and the judge in 2001 issued an arrest warrant charging him with contempt of court. Since then, he had been living in Tijuana, according to court records.

The warrant orders Cohen to remain imprisoned until he returns $25 million that the judge said was illegally transferred out of the country.

Through the courts, Kremen obtained several of Cohen's assets in the United States, including a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, a San Diego suburb.

Kremen also founded match.com, a dating Web site he has since sold.

Cohen has previously served time behind bars. He was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison in 1993 after he was convicted of bankruptcy fraud in San Diego federal court.

 

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