DALLAS, Texas – A January 2020 trial has been set for the founders of the classified advertising site Backpage and five of the site's employees in what federal authorities have described as a scheme to knowingly publish ads for sexual services and launder money earned for the ads.
- Hearing begins for Backpage founders accused of human trafficking
- Backpage operators plead guilty to human trafficking, money laundering
Founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin and the five employees have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Backpage is accused of ignoring warnings to stop running advertisements promoting prostitution, sometimes involving children, because the site has brought in $500 million on prostitution-related revenues since its inception in 2004.
Backpage is a Dutch-owned company incorporated in Delaware, but its principal place of business is in Dallas.
Officials say Backpage keeps its bank accounts and servers in Arizona.