ICE HSI Dallas leads research to shut down site advertising prostitution and intercourse trafficking, indictment of owner
DALLAS вЂ” The website CityXGuide.com вЂ“ a prominent supply of online adverts for prostitution and intercourse trafficking that users described as “taking over from where Backpage left down” вЂ“ is seized as well as its owner charged in a 28-count federal indictment.
Unique agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assigned to HSI Dallas carried out the research. The North Texas Trafficking Task Force spearheaded the research with all the some help from the U.S. Secret provider, the Colleyville Police Department along with HSI El Paso (Texas), HSI San Jose (Ca) in addition to Texas Department of Public protection.
Wilhan Martono, 46, ended up being indicted June 2 using one count of advertising of prostitution and careless neglect of intercourse trafficking, one count of interstate racketeering conspiracy (facilitating prostitution), nine counts of interstate transportation in help of racketeering (facilitating prostitution), and 17 counts of cash laundering. On 17, HSI and U.S. Secret Service agents arrested him in Fremont, California june.
Right after the defendant’s arrest, CityXGuide ended up being changed with a landing page notifying users that the U.S. Department of Homeland protection had seized the internet site pursuant up to a warrant.
Based on the indictment, Martono presumably netted a lot more than $21 million off a suite of illicit web sites prostitution that is promoting intercourse trafficking. He presumably registered the names that are domain a number of the websites only one time following the FBI turn off Backpage.com, Then the Internet’s leading source of sex and prostitution trafficking adverts.
Despite terms of good use purportedly forbidding the advertisement of unlawful sexual solutions, CityXGuide and its own affiliated websites (Backpage.co, CAPleasures.com, and BodyRubShop.com, and others) allegedly permitted brothels, pimps and prostitutes to publish thousands and thousands of ads for intimate solutions, which users could then filter by geography and choice.
In communication with Martono, one of is own CityXGuide advertisers noted that the internet site had been “taking over from where Backpage left down.”
CityXGuide as well as its friend websites allegedly allowed advertisers to select from a pre-populated selection of “intimate tasks,” adding nude photographs, descriptions, work hours, ways of re re payment, and email address for the females being marketed. To protected premium placement, the internet sites offered compensated “upgrades,” that could be bought in Bitcoin or in return for present cards from Walmart, Best purchase, Lowe’s, Amazon along with other stores. Martono presumably utilized CardCash, a gift that is third-party reseller, to switch these present cards for U.S. money.
Martono presumably took actions to conceal their online activity by routing website traffic through an internet protocol address in European countries, employing a VPN to mask their internet protocol address while performing CardCash deals, and funneling their profits by way of a system of company and bank that is personal. During the time of Martono’s arrest, DHS seized vast amounts from reports he managed.
CityXGuide, which served consumers throughout the world, included a summary of 14 “Favorite Cities,” including Dallas, l . a ., San francisco bay area, Las Vegas, Nevada, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and Boston.
Police force has identified many small victims in CityXGuide adverts, including A jane that is 13-year-old doe in North dating for parents Texas in November 2019.
An indictment is just an allegation of unlawful conduct, maybe perhaps not proof. As with any defendants, Martono is assumed innocent unless and until proven accountable in a court of legislation.
If convicted, he faces as much as 25 years in federal jail.
Martono had been charged in component under FOSTA, a legislation passed away when you look at the wake regarding the Backpage scandal in April 2018 which allows the government to prosecute sites that facilitate intercourse trafficking.
Assistant usa Attorneys Sid Mody, Rebekah Ricketts and John de los angeles Garza are prosecuting the truth.