Backpage.com is a well known site for individuals to find ads listing service for acts most frequently being prostitution. The site was shutdown back in April by the FBI after they were able to capture the web domain in an attempt to decrease the rampant prostitution problem.
The FBI had issued several warnings to stop running these ads which often involved children as well.
The two founders are still facing charges while many of the operators have been accused of laundering money for purposes that were illegal. The director of the website, Dan Hyer, plead guilty on August 17 to charges of conspiring to facilitate prostitution. With this charge, the prosecutor will drop the 50 pending charges of facilitating prostitution and 17 money laundering charges.
Backpage was a Dutch owned company with the main place of business in Dallas and bank accounts located in Arizona. The company has pled guilty to human trafficking in Texas in addition to money laundering conspiracy in Arizona.
This website was commonly used by police undercover operations in order to set up stings in metropolitan areas such as San Diego and Seattle. With the website shutting down, the FBI is attempting to decrease the number of underprivileged individuals who are subjected to the sex industry and in turn decrease the number of patronizing a prostitute charges.