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Man accused of luring kids to porn sites

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John Zuccarini, who has been sued over 100 times by such organizations as Dow Jones and The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues for misusing their domain names, is the first person to be charged under a new federal law making it a crime to attract children to sexually explicit Internet sites.

-- Reuters
• Read the complaint: U.S. v. Zuccarini (FindLaw, PDF)external link
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- An Internet site owner was arrested Wednesday on charges he created and used misleading domain names on the Web to deceive minors into logging on to pornographic sites.

John Zuccarini, 53, was expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.

He was arrested earlier in the day in a Florida hotel room, said U.S. Attorney James B. Comey and William E. Kezer, inspector in charge of the New York division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, who announced the arrest at a news conference.

The prosecution is the first of its kind to be brought under the Truth in Domain Names Act, enacted as part of the "Amber alert" legislation, making it a crime to entice children to Internet porn.

Prosecutors say Zuccarini is accused of registering at least 3,000 domain names and earning up to $1 million year from them.

Misspelled domain names

Zuccarini registered various domain names that consisted of misspellings of legitimate domain names that are popular with children -- including Bob the Builder, Britney Spears, Nsync, DisneyLand and the Teletubbies.

For example, he registered instead of

Upon accessing Zuccarini's sites, the viewer would be directed to Web pages depicting graphic sex and advertising additional online porn.

Zuccarini's actions were the subject of lawsuits by legitimate domain name holders, consumer complaints, and an enforcement action by the Federal Trade Commission for unfair and deceptive practices.

If convicted, Zuccarini could be sentenced to up to four years in prison and fined $250,000.

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