Backpage co-founder likely to get out of jail

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Backpage.com co-founder Michael Lacey was arrested April 6 and accused of facilitating prostitution by running ads for sexual services and laundering the revenues.

Last year, Lacey, Larkin, and website's chief executive, Carl Ferrer, were acquitted of pimping conspiracy charges by a judge in California, who ruled that the site was protected under laws for sites publishing content by third parties.

Several people employed by Backpage.com were charged in a 93-count indictment unsealed on Monday that included among the accusations knowingly facilitating prostitution.

"I worked with my co-conspirators to find ways to fool credit card companies into believing that Backpage-associated charges were being incurred on different websites", he said. Also indicted were Backpage.com executives and employees Scott Spear, John "Jed" Brunst, Dan Hyer, Andrew Padilla and Joye Vaught.

Five employees of the site also were arrested and pleaded not guilty, but Lacey and Larkin are the only ones in jail.

Last week, the classifieds website was seized and shut down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Backpage.com was a website that carried sex ads.

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.

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"For far too long, Backpage.com existed as the dominant marketplace for illicit commercial sex, a place where sex traffickers frequently advertised children and adults alike", said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "But this illegality stops right now".

Ferrer stood with attorney Nanci Clarence for the brief hearing before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lawrence Brown. Ferrer was taken into custody following a joint investigation by the Texas and California attorneys general. This comes less than a week after the attorney general's office assisted the Department of Justice with permanently shutting down the website.

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.

The federal plea deal says any prison sentence Ferrer would face would run concurrent with his 5-year terms in Texas and California.

Government officials touted the indictment and seizure of the popular classified ads website as a major step in the fight against sex trafficking.

"Backpage has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from facilitating prostitution and sex trafficking, placing profits over the well-being and safety of the many thousands of women and children who were victimized by its practices", said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth A. unusual.

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

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