It was announced yesterday that the filing of a criminal information against corporations, R.S. Duffy and National A-1 Advertising, was issued charging them with money laundering and criminal forfeiture allegations including a plea agreement calling for the forfeiture of $4.9 million and a $1.5 million fine.
According to the Information filed it’s alleged that the corporate defendants operated an Internet enterprise called Escorts.com which facilitated interstate prostitution activities.
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The defendants allegedly developed and operated an Internet web site, using the domain name Escorts.com, and created an on-line network for prostitutes, escort services, and others to advertise their illegal activities to consumers and users of those services.
The Information alleges that the defendants received subscription fees and payments in the form of money orders, checks, and credit card credits, and wire transfers from users of Escorts.com from across the nation. The funds the defendants allegedly received were the proceeds of violations of federal laws prohibiting interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprises, specifically prostitution, and aiding and abetting such travel.
The money laundering conspiracy charge alleges that the defendants agreed to engage in monetary transactions in property of a value greater than $10,000 derived from those unlawful activities.
In addition, the Information alleges that in connection with the operation of Escorts.com, the defendants created and maintained a network of Internet customer service accounts which facilitated and caused the transfer and movement of the proceeds of these unlawful activities from locations throughout the United States, to the defendants’ business operations and to the defendants’ accounts at financial institutions, investment funds, and financial services providers.
Pursuant to a plea agreement also filed with he U.S. District Court in Williamsport, National A-1 Advertising and R.S Duffy agreed to enter guilty pleas to the money laundering conspiracy charge alleged in the Information, to serve a probation term of 18 months, and to pay a $1,500,000 fine.
In addition, under the terms of the plea agreement, the defendants have agreed to the criminal forfeiture of $4.9 million in cash derived from the unlawful activity, as well as forfeiture of the domain name, Escorts.com, all of which represent property used to facilitate the commission of the offenses – Source.
The website has since been taken down but thanks to an internet archiving site I was able to obtain a screen shot, seen below, of the website in question from February 2010.
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