State prosecutors in California have said the website's chief executive Carl Ferrer and founders Lacey and James Larkin illegally funneled money through multiple companies and created various websites to get around banks that refused to process transactions. The alleged involvement included stripping the ads of code words such as "Lolita" or "new to town," which could indicate an underage girl. The indictment is the first case of federal criminal charges against the people behind Backpage after years of scrutiny and controversy. Sex workers also have argued that the bill would make people working in the industry less safe. Other agencies were also involved in the enforcement action, with more information forthcoming, the FBI said. A screenshot of Backpage. NPR's Vanessa Romo contributed to this report.
The defendants include founders Michael Lacey, 69, and James Larkin, 68, as well as other shareholders and employees. Sex workers also have argued that the bill would make people working in the industry less safe. Some in the sex worker industry say that removing Backpage from the internet takes away a safe mechanism for screening clients, and that the ads will simply move to sites outside the country, or to social media. It awaits President Donald Trump's signature. Sex ads platform Backpage. NPR's Vanessa Romo contributed to this report. State prosecutors in California have said the website's chief executive Carl Ferrer and founders Lacey and James Larkin illegally funneled money through multiple companies and created various websites to get around banks that refused to process transactions. Some sex workers argued that the legislation hamstrings their ability to safely earn a living. A decade ago, they were arrested by then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office in for publishing information about a secret grand jury subpoena demanding information on its stories and online readers. As The Washington Post reports , "Backpage has argued that it assists law enforcement in tracking down victims and perpetrators of crimes, which some police officials have corroborated. Digital access or digital and print delivery. Ferrer was subpoenaed to testify before the Senate in , but he did not show up. The law, however, allows for federal criminal investigations. The legislation faced opposition from free-expression groups and some Internet companies that consider Section the core pillar of the modern Internet and say the crimes will simply travel deeper into the dark Web. He said Lacey's neighbors witnessed the raid, reporting that "about 20 undercover cops" swarmed the property. The Supreme Court last year declined to hear an appeal against Backpage and its use of the Internet shield law, known as Section of the Communications Decency Act. The charges against Lacey, Larkin and others were unsealed on Monday. He, Lacey and Larkin did appear before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in , but they declined to answer questions, citing the First and Fifth Amendments. Never miss a story Choose the plan that's right for you. Plus, a major Senate investigation and a cache of discovered documents eventually suggested that Backpage was actively involved in the creating and editing of the sex ads, making the site a publisher that could be liable for its content. Visitors to the site landed on a notice from the federal government announcing its seizure. Last year, the creators of the website were charged with money laundering in California. Other agencies were also involved in the enforcement action, with more information forthcoming, the FBI said. In March, prompted by the Backpage saga, Congress changed Section to allow more state and civil lawsuits against websites related to online sex trafficking, for "knowingly assisting, supporting or facilitating" crimes. To see more, visit http: In case after case against Backpage, the site's lawyers successfully argued the website was not responsible for its ads, citing a law that shields social media and other Internet platforms from liability for what users say or post online. The indictment accuses the executives of presenting Backpage as a site to advertise escort services while knowing that "the overwhelming majority of the website's ads involve prostitution.
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