CEO of shuttered sex classifieds site Backpage pleads guilty

  • CEO of shuttered sex classifieds site Backpage pleads guilty

CEO of shuttered sex classifieds site Backpage pleads guilty

On Monday, federal officials seized and shut down Backpage and affiliated websites.

Four employees and the site founders pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The 61-page indictment, returned under seal March 28 by a federal grand jury, claimed that "virtually every dollar flowing into Backpage's coffers represents proceeds of illegal activity". Two years ago, he launched his office's Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime Section, which prosecutes human traffickers around the state of Texas. After a series of court cases and the arrest of the company's CEO and other officials, Backpage removed the adult services subsection in the United States in 2017.

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer pleaded guilty Thursday to laundering tens of millions of dollars earned from the now-shuttered sex site in Sacramento Superior Court. Lacey and Larkin also earlier pleaded not guilty to the California charges after Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Larry Brown previous year allowed the state to continue with money laundering charges.

Breitbart Texas and Breitbart News have reported extensively on the taking down of Backpage.com by law enforcement officials and numerous human trafficking crimes prosecuted against sex trafficking perpetrators who used the website for their marketing.

Lacey is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday in federal court in Arizona, followed by Larkin on Thursday.

The defendant entered the guilty plea in Sacramento County Superior Court, resolving charges against him in the criminal case People of the State of California v. Carl Ferrer, Michael Lacey, and James Larkin.

Also charged were Jim Larkin, co-founder of Backpage.com, and a long-time Lacey associate. Brown ruled that the charges are barred by a federal law protecting free speech that grants immunity to websites posting content from others. Yesterday, the President signed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act into law. Backpage.com CEO arrested in Houston on pimping charges Backpage.com allowed users to create posts to sell items, seek roommates and post job openings.

Attorney General Paxton has made combating human trafficking a top priority.

"Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, and it is happening in our own backyard", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement announcing the plea deal.

Texas state agents raided the Dallas headquarters of Backpage and arrested Ferrer on a California warrant after he arrived at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport on a flight from Amsterdam on October 6, 2016.