The New York State Attorney General has sent a letter to all registrars asking for the names of the companies that they have sold the domain registrations to.
The letter was signed by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and is the first legal step in the ongoing battle against registrarians that have been accused of facilitating registration fraud by using shell companies.
Schneiderman said the companies have sold a total of more than 40 million domains to registraries, including those registered by the Trump campaign and a Trump foundation.
Schneiderman said in the letter that the companies had “deceitfully used the name registration services provided to them by the New York Secretary of State and falsely misrepresented their relationship with the State to the public.”
The companies have received “significant amounts of money” from the registrarials, the letter states.
Schweitzer’s letter says the registrar must notify the attorney general if it uses the name for commercial purposes.
Schneidermen’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last month, Schneiderman issued a subpoena to the New Jersey registrar, New York City’s Public Registry, and the Florida registrar.
In a letter on Tuesday, Schneidermen said the letters were a violation of New York’s Public Records Act, which requires the registrant to turn over the records.
The registrar has until April 17 to respond.
Schnecker’s letter does not directly address the Trump foundation’s business dealings, but he said the registrants have done “a disservice to the people of New Jersey by allowing their clients to use their names and addresses to register domain names for personal use without disclosing to the customers the nature of their relationship.”
The letter comes on the heels of the State Department announcing on Monday that the Trump Organization will pay $25 million to settle a corruption case that stemmed from its use of shell companies to register domains.
The money is part of the settlement agreement between the Trump Foundation and the State of New Hampshire, which agreed to pay a total $1.2 million in fines and penalties in the case.