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The guilty pleas are the latest in a cascade of developments in the last cwlifornia against the company founded by the former owners of the Village Backpagee in New York City, Michael Lacey, 69, and James Larkin, While the pimping charges appear similar to those filed by Harris against the trio in October and later dismissed, the money laundering allegations are new. Back argued it has rules to prevent unlawful posts, and some free speech advocates filed briefs in support of its position.
Ferrer was noticeably absent from the federal indictment, which referenced a "CF" who was heavily involved with the site. Ken Paxton said the company pleaded guilty to human trafficking in Texas. Senate and will take office in January.
The latest action, like other lawsuits involving Back. SinceBack has been expanding operations, creating sites in hundreds of cities throughout the world, including over 30 cities in California.
Carl Ferrer will cooperate in prosecuting Back. President Donald Trump this week ed a law cslifornia it easier to prosecute website operators in the future. Department of Homeland Security, and the U. The U. The Dutch-owned company is incorporated in Delaware, but its principal place of business is in Dallas. And the conviction of CEO Ferrer is a game-changer in combatting human trafficking in California, indeed worldwide.
The U. Most recently, the office secured a felony conviction against Andrew Jordan, 37, of Long Beach, on charges of human trafficking, pimping, pandering, domestic violence, and assault.
Michael Lacey and James Larkin, controlling shareholders of Back, have also been criminally charged with conspiracy to commit pimping, a felony. Attorney General Harris has made fighting human trafficking a priority for the California Department of Justice caliornia, and has advocated for increased collaboration among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies during the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking crimes.
And the conviction of CEO Ferrer is a game-changer in combating human trafficking in California, indeed worldwide. Xavier Becerra said in a statement announcing the plea deal.
Texas Atty. Ferrer also agreed to make the company's data available to law enforcement. Harris, a Democrat, was recently elected to the U.
The Office of the Attorney General is actively investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases across California. Representatives for Back could not immediately be reached for comment. The investigation found that Evilempire. Cqlifornia of Justice. Justice Department also seized and shut down the website used to prominently advertise escorts and massages, among other services and some goods for sale.
Ferrer took data from Back users and created content for Back-affiliated sites like EvilEmpire. Earlier this year, however, a similar trafficking backpxge involving children against Back in Massachusetts was dismissed by a federal appeals court, which said the free speech principles embodied in the Communications Decency Act were paramount. Advertisement The founders were among company officials indicted by a federal grand jury in Arizona, though Ferrer, 57, was noticeably absent from the indictment.
Thank you to the California Department of Justice Special Agents, investigators, attorneys, and our partners in law enforcement who have worked tirelessly to bring the operators of this online brothel to justice and protect thousands of victims of trafficking. President Trump this week ed a law making it easier to prosecute website operators in the future.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Larry Brown last year threw out pimping conspiracy and other state charges against Back's operators. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of money laundering in California. Prosecutors allege Back's operators illegally funneled money through multiple companies and created websites to get around banks that refused to process their transactions.
The federal shield for content liability is considered critical for web companies ranging from Google and Facebook to eBay and Airbnb, but it has come under fire from some lawmakers and judges. Anyone who was a victim of trafficking via Calufornia is encouraged to file a report with the California Department of Justice by ing back doj.
Brown ruled that the charges are barred by a federal law protecting free speech that grants immunity to websites posting content from others. Lacey and Larkin also earlier pleaded not guilty to the California charges after Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Larry Brown last year allowed the state to continue with money-laundering charges. Brown ruled that the charges are barred by a federal law protecting free speech that grants immunity to websites posting content from others.