Backpage Chief Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy and Money Laundering

Backpage Chief Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy and Money Laundering

Backpage Chief Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy and Money Laundering

The chief executive order, Carl Ferrer, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy and three counts of money laundering in California, and to money laundering in Texas, " the states' attorneys-general declared.

Backpage.com and its affiliated websites were seized on Friday by US federal law enforcement authorities and taken off the internet.

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"It is my honest hope that my client's tenacity and today's news of Backpage.com's acknowledgment of its guilt in facilitating human trafficking will encourage other survivors of human trafficking to come forward, tell their stories, and hold wrongdoers accountable", he said.

Maggy Krell, a former assistant attorney general in California and lawyer who worked on the case, says that the recent pleas and indictments could be a major turning point.

Ferrer agreed, in combined plea deals with both Texas and California authorities, where he faced outstanding charges, that he will shut down Backpage "throughout the world", will aid authorities in ongoing prosecutions of his co-conspirators, and will make all Backpage data available to authorities.

The terms of the agreement also require Ferrer to assist USA authorities to shut the operation down, as well as forfeit to the government corporate assets and other property owned or controlled by Backpage-linked entities.

An indictment filed in Arizona accuses seven individuals tied to Backpage.com with 93 criminal counts, including money laundering and operating a website to facilitate prostitution.

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Five other company officials are named in the indictment.

He also says he conspired with others at Backpage.com to launder the proceeds from such ads after credit card companies and banks refused to do business with the site. 'But this illegality stops right now'.

Among other claims, the report said that Backpage.com was editing the language on its site to strip out terms that were related to underage girls before the ads were posted in the adult section.

In the Arizona plea, Ferrer acknowledged knowing that a great majority of Backpage.com's ads were for sex services.

But Brown threw out pimping conspiracy and other state charges against Backpage's operators. Lacey, who also had his initial court appearance on April 6 before Judge Willett, subsequently had a detention hearing on April 11 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bridget S. Bade of the District of Arizona and was ordered to temporarily remain in custody until his continued hearing on Friday, April 13.

The plea agreement provides that, if Ferrer fails to comply with either of these requirements, the plea agreement shall be null and void and the United States may bring additional charges against Ferrer.

President Donald Trump this week signed a law making it easier to prosecute website operators in the future.

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