Author Topic: Feds Seize Website  (Read 1388 times)

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Offline Femacamper

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Feds Seize Website
« on: April 09, 2018, 09:22:22 am »

The site had been used to facilitate prostitution and child sexual exploitation.

The website most frequently connected with child sexual exploitation and human sex trafficking, has been seized by federal prosecutors.

A seizure notice appeared on the website Friday afternoon following reports that the FBI had raided the Sedona, Ariz., home of its founder, Michael Lacey. Both the seizure notice and questions to the Phoenix FBI Field Office were referred back to the Justice Department, which has not yet made an official statement.

The move follows adoption of a pair of laws by Congress that specifically aimed at shutting down the multi-million-dollar enterprise. Those bills are expected to be signed by President Donald Trump soon.

The website had previously run with impunity, having beat back an attempt to shut it down using First Amendment protections. Lacey also claimed the website always notified law enforcement whenever it became aware of illegal activity.

A number of websites have already shut down their “personal ads” sections ahead of the new federal laws.

It is believed the current action aimed at is based on federal statutes that make it illegal to use a “facility,” such as an Internet website to knowingly enable prostitution. That law has been used in the past to go after other websites, including,, and

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Online TahoeBlue

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Re: Feds Seize Website
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 10:54:50 am »
Generally these "sites" operated outside the country like online gambling ... hmm

Also we see they've been "protected" for years .... so were they paying protection ? or blackmailing for protection
Also the database of transactions would be very interesting ... and valuable
Backpage Website Shut Down, Founder Charged With 93 Counts By FBI In Sealed Indictment
By Tom Porter and Reuters On 4/7/18 at 10:57 AM co-founder Michael Lacey was arrested Friday Handout

Federal agents raided the Sedona home of Backpage co-founder Michael Lacey on Friday.  A Phoenix FBI official said there was “law enforcement activity” at Lacey's home, but referred further inquiries to the Justice Department.


In 2016 prosecutors in California charged Backpage chief executive Carl Ferrer, Lacey and fellow co-founder James Larkin with money laundering, and said they channelled cash through companies and websites to bypass banking rules and profit from prostitution ads. The three deny the charges.

A Judge in California in 2016 threw out charges that Lacey and Ferrer acted as virtual pimps by hosting prostitution ads on the website, and that the site was protected under the First Amendment.

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earlier: CEO Carl Ferrer Arrested on Pimping Charges
by Phil Helsel / Oct.06.2016

The CEO of the adult classifieds ads portal was arrested in Texas Thursday on allegations of sex trafficking and pimping involving underage victims, authorities announced.

Carl Ferrer was arrested in Houston on a California warrant after he arrived on a flight from Amsterdam, and law enforcement officers searched the company’s Dallas headquarters, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said.

Court documents allege that knowingly took money from underage prostitutes. Paxton said investigators found evidence that "adult and child sex trafficking victims were forced into prostitution through escort ads that appeared repeatedly on Backpage."

Backpage was founded in 2004 by Lacey and Larkin, and in 2012 it broke off from its parent company and became its own entity, with Ferrer as CEO, according to court documents.

An investigation started in 2014 involved an undercover agent arranging meeting with prostitutes through the site and creating ads advertising escort services, according to the documents.

One of those interviewed was a 16-year-old woman who said she was forced into prostitution when she was 12 or 13 years old, and who used the site, according to the warrant declaration.

"Raking in millions of dollars from the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable victims is outrageous, despicable and illegal," California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement. "Backpage and its executives purposefully and unlawfully designed Backpage to be the world’s top online brothel."
Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole ; He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. - Job 5