Published: Sat, April 14, 2018 co-founder pleads guilty -US Justice Department co-founder pleads guilty -US Justice Department

The chief executive order, Carl Ferrer, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy and three counts of money laundering in California, and to money laundering in Texas, " the states' attorneys-general declared.

In his federal bargain, Mr. Ferrer, 5-7, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to " facilitate prostitution using a centre in foreign or interstate trade, and conspiracy to take part in money laundering, confessing he'd " long know that the fantastic majority" of their advertisements onto back page for "adult" & &;ldquo;escort" agencies are actually advertisements for prostitution. The executive has agreed to testify against fellow co-founders of the website, several of whom are now in prison and awaiting full detention hearings scheduled for next week.

In his plea agreement, Carl Ferrer, 57, admitted that he had always been aware that the great majority of Backpage's "escort" and "adult" advertisements were for prostitution services, the department said in a statement.

In exchange for his cooperation, Ferrer will serve a maximum of five years in each case, to be served concurrently. "But this illegality stops right now".

The federal plea deal says any prison sentence Ferrer would face would run concurrent with his 5-year terms in Texas and California. Additionally, the business pleaded guilty to human trafficking.

"This is such an important step forward for the many people who've been combating human trafficking". The state attorney general's office, which is prosecuting the case, alleges that Backpage's operators illegally funneled almost $45 million through multiple companies and created websites to get around banks that refused to process their transactions.

"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. Brown ruled that the charges are barred by a federal law protecting free speech that grants immunity to websites posting content from others.

The agreements were published one day after President Trump signed anti-sex-trafficking legislation into law on Wednesday.

Ferrer was arrested at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston in October 2016 after arriving on a flight from Amsterdam, accused of running a "pimping conspiracy". The Dutch-owned company is incorporated in DE, but its principal place of business is in Dallas.

Calling it the "largest online sex trafficking marketplace in the world", Paxton said Backpage facilitated the sex trafficking of innocent women and children at 943 locations in 97 countries and 17 languages.

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