Backpage Boss Breaks Silence

It’s that time again! Time for your Backpage Sex Peddling trial update, brought to you by Tony Ortega and his criminally indicted bosses.

This week, we heard the first words Backpage.com co-founder and Tony Ortega’s former boss, Michael Lacey, offered about allegations he faces for running a prostitution ring and shady money laundering operation.

“Nonsense!” was all he said before his attorney added that his client had no further comment. Nonsense, as if to imply that all the lives he and the people who worked for him ruined and left discarded behind them were nothing but a joke to him.

Lacey, and his co-conspirator James Larkin are scheduled to stand trial at the start of next year on federal charges in Arizona. Prosecutors have damning evidence (to the tune of an estimated 7 million to 9 million pages of documents) showing beyond reasonable doubt that Tony Ortega’s employers, Lacey, Larkin, knowingly and willfully ran prostitution ads then ham-handedly attempted to launder money earned from the classified advertising site.

At this point in the proceedings, five other site employees have also been called to stand trial. No word yet as to whether Tony Ortega will be called to defend Backpage, but given his past eagerness to lend his name to the disgusting task of protecting sex traffickers it won’t surprise us if he pops up and makes an appearance before the smoke clears.

One of the many indictment charges alleges Backpage.com ignored warnings to stop running advertisements promoting prostitution, often involving underage children. Ortega’s bosses have yet to answer any of the questions raised by the inconvenient fact that Backpage managed to pull in $500 million on prostitution-related revenues since its inception in 2004.

Authorities say Backpage.com portrays itself as trying to prevent such ads, but investigators have determined the site’s operators repeated declined to confront the problem. Employees are accused of helping customers edit their ads to say within legal limits while still encouraging commercial sex. While still other employees, like Tony Ortega, took to whatever available media would talk to them, singing the praises of Backpage and their abhorrent business model.

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