Backpage.com CEO Pleads Guilty, Will Cooperate With Feds On Money Laundering

Crime, News | April 13, 2018 By:

Backpage.com CEO Carl Ferrer has entered a guilty plea to state and federal conspiracy and money laundering charges, and will cooperate with the ongoing federal investigation into sex trafficking and prostitution abetted by his site.

Ferrer plead guilty pleas in both Sacramento County Superior Court and US District Court in Arizona. Federal agents shut down the web site on April 6th and several executives of the firm have since been indicted.

“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,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a written statement. “But this illegality stops right now.”

Ferrer has agreed to cooperate in the criminal case against Backpage co-founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin. Prosecutors allege Backpage.com has generated at least a half-billion in prostitution related revenue, laundering it through foreign accounts and cryptocurrency.

Still charged in indictments are Backpage.com’s executive vice president Scott Spear, chief financial officer John “Jed” Brunst, sales and marketing director Dan Hyer, operations manager Andrew Padilla and assistant operations manager Joye Vaught