LAS VEGAS — Desperate for cash to stay afloat, operators of file-locker site Oron have made another emergency plea seeking additional funds and an order allowing PayPal to process its payments.
The request to U.S. District Court in Las Vegas was made because two payments totaling $355,000 are due to server hosting company LeaseWeb in the first two weeks of July and its payment processors — CCBill and AlertPay, as well as PayPal — have refused to service Oron.
Without additional funds, Oron told the court that it would not be able to continue in business.
Oron noted that LeaseWeb has required an advance payment for service and that it needs immediate court intervention because the first of two payments — $75,000 — is due Sunday.
Oron counsel also noted that the company had anticipated that it would make those payments from its HSBC bank account in Hong Kong because a Hong Kong High Court order did not prohibit payment of business expenses. But HSBC has refused to disburse funds until the Hong Kong court holds a hearing on the asset order on July 7.
Gay adult company Corbin Fisher last week sued operators of Oron.com for $34.8 million in damages, alleging they had knowledge of and induced the trading of pirated porn on its site.
PayPal, AlertPay and CCBill were ordered to freeze Oron accounts; VeriSign also was ordered to freeze the Oron.com domain name from any transfers.
At the same time, Corbin Fisher served Oron in Hong Kong with an injunction prohibiting disposal of assets in Hong Kong. In the Hong Kong order, Oron operators were enjoined from disposing or diminishing in value of its assets up to $3 million.
Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro agreed with Corbin Fisher attorneys that Oron didn't provide any itemization or accounting for the court to consider and allowed it to withdraw only $100,000 to keep the site afloat and pay off lawyers.
Oron had been asking the court to withdraw $350,000 in funds.
In related news, Oron's reported chief executive, Maxim Bochenko, asked the court today to dismiss him as a defendant.
Bochenko said that personal jurisdiction does not exist in the case because he doesn't work for Oron.
"Mr. Bochenko is a resident of the ctate of Florida who is a Russian citizen living in the U.S. through a green card," the motion said. "Mr. Bochenko has never been an employee of [parent company] FF Magnat Ltd. or any affiliated company."
"The only connection between this forum and Mr. Bochenko is a two-day personal vacation he took to Las Vegas five years ago."
The motion to dismiss also said that a decision to name Bochenko as defendant is based solely on a belief that Bochenko and Roman Romanov, also named in the suit as a Bochenko AKA, are the same person.
"Mr. Romanov is a childhood friend, who Mr. Bochenko believes currently resides in Russia," the motion said.