CEO pleads guilty to money-laundering charges, will help in prosecution of site's creators

Thursday, April 12, 2018
Screen capture of on April 12th 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The chief executive of a website that authorities have dubbed an "online brothel" is pleading guilty to California money-laundering charges and agreeing to cooperate in prosecuting the site's creators.

Carl Ferrer will serve no more than five years in state prison under the plea agreement announced Thursday.

He's pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of money laundering. He's also agreeing to cooperate in the ongoing prosecution of founders Michael Lacey, and James Larkin.

The founders were among those indicted this month by a federal grand jury in Arizona. Ferrer was noticeably absent from the indictment.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says Ferrer is also agreeing to make the company's data available to law enforcement.

The U.S. Justice Department shut down Backpage last week.