Backpage Pleads Guilty to Human Trafficking

Backpage.com pleaded guilty to human trafficking on Thursday, after multiple federal agencies shut down the site and indicted its executives for “knowingly facilitating prostitution,” according to a Justice Department press release. The attorneys general in Texas and California said CEO Carl Ferrer, who pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy, was cooperating with authorities. Ferrer also agreed to “shut down the site worldwide, and hand over the site’s data to law enforcement.” In a 93-count indictment unsealed earlier this week, federal prosecutors accused the site of earning “$500 million in prostitution-related revenues since launching in 2004.” The former CEO faces 10 years in prison. The pleas come after the classified ad site was suddenly seized by the Justice Department and other federal agencies.