Backpage.com operators have been charged with money laundering amounting to $500 million by US regulators in connection with prostitution based earnings, going back from when the firm was initially created.
In addition, allegations were made that some of these revenues turned into bitcoins and other virtual currencies which played a role in their money laundering scheme.
Is this the Internet’s leading forum for prostitution ad?
The confiscation of backpage.com was declared by the US Justice Department on Monday, where the ministry reiterated that the firm was the most popular site for prostitution ads. In addition to the above, in a 93-count federal indictment, seven connected people were charged with offenses, which consist of conspiracy to enable prostitution and international money laundering. Among the numerous agencies involved in this examinations were the FBI and the IRS.
Attorney General Session elaborated that backpage.com has been established as a leading marketplace for prostitution activities, in which sex traffickers advertise adult and children alike for way too long.
The Attorney General further stated that the department of justice confiscated backpage.com last Friday and the site can no longer be facilitated by criminals to advertise and enable human trafficking. He also emphasized that this criminal act stops immediately due to the seizure and showed appreciation to every individual who has aided to stop the heartache, abuse, and violence that this website enables when utilize.
The Attorney General completed his statement by stressing that they have taken a significant move in protecting women and children alike residing in the United States.
Since the establishment of Backpage in 2004, the site has facilitated an astounding $500 million through the use of prostitution ads, as a result, revenue coming in signify the earnings of criminal operations, according to the indictment.
Subsequent to credit card firms termination of facilitating payments for Backpage, operators of the site, venture into other ways of money laundering techniques as stated by the indictment, in which customer payments and company earnings were converted in and out of digital currencies.
The architects that formed Backpage are not just charged to be involved in these heinous financial related criminal activities like money laundering but did so at the “expense of innocent women and children” detailed Chief Don Fort of IRS Criminal Investigation.
Moreover, the Chief noted that with the use of cryptocurrencies, offshore banking and the anonymity of the internet, these form of investigations could be more difficult. He also concluded that “it would serve as an example of all criminals that there is not a place they can hide where we will not find them”.
In the past, US regulators have made a similar accusation against Backpage, however, the allegations were dropped by the court base on free speech protection of publishers online, as reported by newsbitcoin.com in the past.