By Kim Zetter
April 08, 2009
A company whose servers were seized in a recent FBI raid on Texas data
centers applied for a temporary restraining order to force the bureau to
return its servers, but was denied by a U.S. district court last week.
The company, Liquid Motors, provides inventory management and marketing
services to national automobile dealers, such as AutoNation. It was one
of about 50 companies put out of business last week when the FBI seized
the servers at Core IP Networks, one of two data centers and co-location
facilities raided by the  FBI's Dallas office in the last month in an
investigation into VoIP fraud.
Although Liquid Motors was not a target of the investigation, the FBI
took all of the company's servers and backup tapes in the raid.
"As a result, Liquid Motors, Inc. has been put out of business and is in
breach of its contracts with automobile dealers throughout the country,"
the company wrote in its application for the restraining order 
(.pdf). "Those automobile dealerships ... may hold Liquid Motors
responsible for all of their lost business, and may terminate their
contracts with Liquid Motors, causing permanent and irreparable harm ...
for which there is no adequate remedy at law."
The company noted that it maintained duplicate servers to prevent
outages and housed those servers in a building "on a five power grid
with a generator that can last for thirty days."
Only "a bomb to the building" or, as it happens, an FBI raid, could
cause the servers to go down, the company stated.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas denied the
request  (.pdf), however, after holding an ex parte discussion with
FBI Special Agent Allyn Lynd, who led the raid. Lynd told the court that
the owner of the co-location facility was being investigated for fraud
and that even though Liquid Motors was not part of the investigation,
its equipment might have been used to facilitate fraud by others.
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