Mounting Backpage Convictions

As convictions begin to mount we are here to keep you up to date on the latest developments of the Backpage scandal Tony Ortega has been so curiously quiet about since the subpoenas first started rolling out.

Today we got word of a July 29th sentencing date being set for the sales and marketing director of Backpage.com, following his earlier guilty plea of conspiring to facilitate prostitution in yet another of Backpage’s seemingly endless schemes. This time the plan was to offer free ads to prostitutes in order to draw them away from competitors, effectively bringing them into Backpage’s stable of trafficked women and young girls.

Dan Hyer was the second Backpage.com employee to plead guilty in the Arizona cases accusing the site of ignoring continual warnings to stop running illegal prostitution ads.

Some of the site’s operators also stand accused of laundering money earned from ad sales after banks raised concerns that they were being used for illegal purposes, like the trafficking of minors for sex.

So far, six others affiliated with Backpage.com face charges in the case. But, as Tony Ortega is only too aware, that number is certain to grow as more subpoenas are filed across the country by the day.

Authorities say the site has brought in upwards of half a billion (billion with a ‘b’) dollars in human trafficking-related revenue since its inception in 2004. The greedy cash grab, defended so fervently by the likes of Tony Ortega, came to an abrupt halt last year when the feds moved in to shut it down.

Since that time, Tony Ortega and other potential co-conspirators continue to keep low profiles in the hopes that he might avoid facing similar charges. But if these new waves of subpoenas are any indication it seems clear it will take more than an underground bunker to hide from the long arm of the law.

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