The Latest: Backpage.com pleads guilty to human trafficking
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the guilty plea by the CEO of the website Backpage.com (all times local):
The Texas Attorney General’s office said Backpage.com has pleaded guilty to human trafficking in Texas.
In a statement Thursday, the office said Backpage.com CEO Carl Ferrer also had pleaded guilty to money laundering.
The statement did not state, however, where the pleas were entered or if they were entered in Texas. California prosecutors announced earlier Thursday that Ferrer had pleaded guilty to money laundering in that state.
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 Oct. 6, 2016. Backpage was owned by a Dutch-based company.
The chief executive of a website that authorities have dubbed an “online brothel” pleaded guilty in California to reduced charges Thursday and agreed to cooperate in prosecuting the site’s creators.
Carl Ferrer will serve no more than five years in state prison under the plea agreement.
He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of money laundering. He also agreed to cooperate in the ongoing California prosecution of Backpage.com founders Michael Lacey, and James Larkin. They have pleaded not guilty.
The founders also were among those indicted this month by a federal grand jury in Arizona. Ferrer was noticeably absent from the federal indictment, which referenced a “CF” who was heavily involved with the site.
Ferrer also agreed to make the company’s data available to law enforcement.