Attorney General Becerra Announces Guilty Plea by Backpage.com CEO Carl Ferrer and Permanent Shutdown of the Online Sex Trafficking Website
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Ferrer pleads guilty to conspiracy and money laundering
Prosecution against Backpage.com shareholders James Larkin and Michael Lacey continues
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that defendant Carl Ferrer, Chief Executive Officer of online sex advertising website Backpage.com, has pled guilty to one charge of conspiracy and three counts of money laundering. The defendant entered the guilty plea in Sacramento County Superior Court, resolving charges against him in the criminal case People of the State of California v. Carl Ferrer, Michael Lacey, and James Larkin. This plea follows the permanent shutdown of Backpage.com announced on April 9. The website has been described as the world’s largest online brothel, facilitating human trafficking throughout the world.
Ferrer will cooperate in the prosecution of two controlling shareholders of the website, Michael Lacey and James Larkin. The case against alleged co-conspirators, Lacey and Larkin, continues in Sacramento County Superior Court.
“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, and it is happening in our own backyard,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The shutdown of Backpage.com is a tremendous victory for the survivors and their families. And the conviction of CEO Ferrer is a game-changer in combatting human trafficking in California, indeed worldwide.”