Escorts.com Operators Face Forfeiture, Fine

Nov 1, 2011 3:30 PM PST

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The operators of Escorts.com — National A-1 Advertising Inc. and R.S. Duffy Inc. — agreed to plead guilty to money laundering conspiracy, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

A plea agreement filed Tuesday at U.S. District Court  in Williamsport, Pa., said the companies have agreed to forfeit nearly $5 million, pay a $1.5 million fine and serve 18 months probation.

The companies have forfeited the domain name Escorts.com, which they have operated for four years.

The case against Escorts.com appears to be the first successful prosecution against an online escort site.

HotMovies.com, which is owned by National A-1, is unaffected by the Escorts.com case. And Richard Cohen, who operates National A-1, has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Prostitutes and escort services paid to advertise on the site, while customers were charged subscription fees.

Prosecutors said the two companies engaged in monetary transactions in excess of $10,000 which were derived from the allegedly unlawful activities.

 
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