Tory chairperson Grant Shapps has claimed that he got his dates mixed up after a recording of him pretending to be Michael Green in 2006 was uncovered by The Guardian.
Shapps had claimed he left the internet con-man business behind when he was elected as an MP in 2005. The recording clearly proves this was a lie. In fact his trafficpaymaster website is still registered in the US to Michael Green. This is a breach of contract with ICANN who oversee internet domains in the US. Were the website to have been used for any dubious purposes – such as encouraging people to rip off the small businesses using google ads by flooding the net with fake websites – then this false registration would be an aggravating factor which could lead to an additional seven years in jail.
All of Michael Green’s websites have vanished and even been blocked from the internet archive project. So there is no way of knowing for sure whether the Conservative Party were telling the truth when they said yesterday that: “his full name and biographical details were permanently published on the company’s main website”. It seems strange to go to the trouble of using a fake name to register the website if this was the case. There is no mention of Grant Shapps on any of the screenshots that scores of people managed to take of the sites before they disappeared.
Michael Green was also a regular contributor to the Warrior internet forums, alongside Sebastian Fox, another pseudonym used by his former company howtocorp.com. Most of these posts have been deleted as well, although a few still remain in which both of these non-existent people appear together. Grant Shapps never mentioned his real identity there either.
Another website which has gone missing is trafficpaymaster.wordpress.com. This site was removed from wordpress for violating their terms and conditions. It only contained one post, made in July 2011 by someone calling themselves John Hilton, a ‘self-proclaimed’ internet marketing expert. This post gave a suspiciously glowing review of the software that Grant Shapps’ company sold alongside handy details of where to purchase it. The only links on the site point to the websites that Shapps used to run and the previously mentioned Warrior internet forums. Because it was hosted on wordpress.com it cannot be hidden from the internet archive. Fake reviews are likely to be illegal under consumer protection laws. Whether John Hilton is also Grant Shapps, or his wife who he claimed took over the company, remains yet another mystery in the murky former world of the Conservative Party Chairman.
Shapps has repeatedly claimed he is the victim of political smears. Judge for yourself.
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