Justice Department seizes classified ads website Backpage.com

FBI seizes classified site Backpage.com

Backpage.com, an online classifieds site, advertises everything from cars to furniture.

This seizure comes after Congress overwhelmingly passed a new federal law making it illegal for websites to host prostitution adds.

Backpage has always been a controversial classified advertising website, previously accused of facilitating child sex trafficking, among other things.

Last year, the creators of the website were charged with money laundering in California.

In October 2016, the CEO of backpages.com, Carl Ferrer, was arrested in Houston on felony pimping charges after arriving back to the USA from Amsterdam. In 2005, Lacey and Larkin bought out Village Voice Media in New York City.

They began Backpage as an alternative to Craigslist, and it became the second most popular online classified site in the USA behind Craigslist. Backpage considered that move an economic opportunity. "It is an opportunity for us". The men refused to answer any questions then.

Backpage, similar to Craigslist, allows users to post ads in a variety of categories.

► August 4: Who's buying sex?

Cindy McCain, the wife of Arizona Sen.

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"The majority of women I see are being exploited online", she said. "We must keep working to bring perpetrators to justice and get victims the support they deserve".

Reuters was unable to reach representatives of Backpage for comment.

M. The website, criticized as the biggest prostitution website in the world, is seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In addition to consensual sex work, the site has been accused of being a haven for child sex traffickers. The FBI confirmed to ABC15 there is law enforcement activity in the area.

The business was lucrative.

This isn't the first time Backpage has run into issues with the law.

A February 2015 appraisal said the company was worth more than $600 million. Previous cases against the site had been thrown out of court, but this one seemed to stick - causing the backpage.com shutdown and hopefully lowering the prevalence of child sex trafficking. Lacey conveyed his Sedona home to a limited liability company called Creek Hideaway.

In March 2017, each man filed paperwork that removed their names from homes they had owned.

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