Re: Why did he do it though? Pure dicketry?
A similar situation, but in reverse, happened to me recently.
The company I work for purchased another smaller company that was having financial difficulties, and about to go bankrupt. Apparently, this deal was in the works for months. The first I hear about it is when the executives come to me and ask me to get the domain moved over to us, and to get the phone numbers ported.
About this time I find out that they just received their second disconnect notice for their phones. Here in the US, once a number is disconnected, you lose the phone number forever, and it can't be ported. They knew about this deal for months, but didn't tell me about any of it until way late. Fortunately, our VOIP provider was able to get the porting request through in less than 24 hours, and we were able to keep the numbers.
The domain was a bigger problem. This company didn't have any in house IT staff, and relied on a small IT service firm that was local to them. When they had this firm register the domain for them, the owner of the IT service firm registered it to himself. Not the best way to handle things, but not a big problem. At least that was what I thought. It turns out that while the company was having financial problems, they failed to pay the IT firm. About $13K to be exact.
At this point I figure there is going to be lawyers and lawsuits involved to get the domain name back. And, I would kind of understand the IT contractor wanting to get paid before handing over the domain name. So I decide to take a shot at resolving this myself. I called the owner of this IT firm (Jay), and presented it as IT guy to IT guy just trying to solve the problem. It turns out that Jay is a very professional and honest guy. His response was "no problem, how can I help?" He was very helpful getting the domain registered to us. Frankly, even though I consider myself a very ethical person, I'm not sure I would have been so cooperative when someone owed me $13K! I, many years ago ran my own IT contracting company, and people stiffing me was one of the reasons I don't anymore.
After getting everything worked out, I go to our CEO to update him on where everything is. He was very worried earlier when I told him the domain was registered to the IT contractor that was owed a lot of money. When I explained that Jay was very cooperative, our CEO was surprised. He made a comment about not many people that honest around anymore. He told me to give Jay his email address and have Jay send him the outstanding invoices. He said he would tell accounting to pay Jay what he is owed.
Our CEO is a very good guy. That's why I still work here. I could make a lot more money elsewhere, but one needs to look at the big picture. When you work for someone that respects you, and trusts you, it makes a big difference. This is the same guy that took a sizable personal pay cut to avoid having to layoff anyone during the recession.
This whole story is a good example of why doing the right thing should always the way to go.