Backpage E Unites States

Carl Ferrer, the chief executive of Back. In addition, he agreed to testify against the men who co-founded Back with him, Michael Lacey and James Larkin, who remained in jail Thursday in Arizona on facilitating prostitution charges. Top officials at Back.

Federal and state authorities quietly took Ferrer on a three-state guilty plea tour beginning last week, but it was only revealed Thursday. Court records show that Ferrer pleaded guilty to conspiracy to facilitate prostitution and money laundering in federal court in Phoenix on April 5, with the hearing and documents sealed. Ferrer then on Monday appeared in state court in Corpus Christi, Tex. On Thursday, Ferrer turned up in Sacramento, where he was first charged along with Lacey and Larkin in , and again pleaded guilty to money laundering.

He was then released on bond. His California plea agreement indicates prosecutors will seek no more than five years in prison, and federal prosecutors agreed that any sentence in Arizona would run concurrently to that. The indictments were unsealed Monday, and the lack of charges for Ferrer raised questions about whether he was cooperating.

In addition to removing a liability shield for websites that host prostitution , it enables victims and state attorneys general to file lawsuits against such sites. In , Lacey, Larkin and Ferrer created Back as an online way to sustain a classified advertising income after Craigslist destroyed print classified nationwide. Eventually the trio sold the newspapers and just kept Back, which records obtained by the Senate investigations subcommittee found was enormously profitable.

Lacey and Larkin and two other co-defendants, Scott Spear and Jed Brunst, claimed that they sold Back in to two Dutch companies. New documents show otherwise. In his California plea, Ferrer agreed to take down every Back website he could within five days, and to forfeit all domains related to Back within 14 days. The federal indictment seeks to seize 10 residences in California, Arizona, Texas and Illinois and 25 bank s, as well as 35 website domains.

When credit card companies and banks began refusing to process payments for the , Back found ways to shift money through various s to collect the profits, which Ferrer admitted in federal court was money laundering. California was the most persistent at trying to prosecute Back in criminal court, filing pimping and money laundering charges against Lacey, Larkin and Ferrer in A judge threw them all out in , saying the site was protected by the Communications Decency Act, which was amended this week.

Then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris refiled the charges, and a judge again threw out the pimping charges but allowed the money laundering charges to proceed. That is what Ferrer pleaded guilty to Thursday. Seeing it shut down and having their business model become clearly illegal is really gratifying.

Earlier this week, Lacey and Larkin had hearings in which they were ordered to remain in jail pending full detention hearings next week. The other five defendants, all former top officials of Back, were released. Search Input Search Sections Menu. Sections Menu. in ProfileSolid. By Tom Jackman. April 13,

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