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Backpage.com CEO transferred from Texas to California jail

Ferrer, wearing glasses, said little during his brief court hearing, acknowledging he was waiving extradition.

"Mr. Ferrer looks forward to vigorously fighting these charges that we believe are trumped up", said Ferrer's attorney Philip Hilder.

Other conspiracy to commit pimping charges have been brought against Michael Lacey, 68, and James Larkin, 67, the founders and controlling shareholders of Backpage.com.

"This sends a strong message that sex trafficking will not be tolerated and that those that are preying on children, no matter who they are, will be prosecuted", Marty Jackley said Friday in a news release. Lacey and Larkin previously owned the Phoenix-based Village Voice Media Group, whose 13 alt-weekly publications included SF Weekly until the two sold them all off in 2012 in a move that separated Backpage.com, the duo's real cash cow, from its legit publication holdings.

Statement from U.S. Sen.

Authorities said they interviewed more than six victims who said they paid Backpage.com to post ads promoting prostitution.

California officials allege that Ferrer's site collects fees from users who use coded language and almost nude photos to offer sex for money. A California court affidavit says Ferrer expanded Backpage.com's share of online sex marketing by creating affiliated sites including EvilEmpire.com and BigCity.com with related content.

The state-level investigation found that Backpage's adult ads directly attributed to 99 percent of Backpage's gross revenue from January 2013 to March 2015.

The California complaint alleges that rather than merely being a conduit for the ads, Ferrer "developed and oversaw a process to screen escort ads on Backpage.com".

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He will appear in court on the pimping charges. The website has been under pressure for years to stop running ads for sexual services, especially after website Craigslist, the original online classified webpage, shut down a similar area in 2010. She has repeatedly called out Backpage.com for allowing the advertising of minors for sex.

Backpage has prevailed in two federal appellate court battles since past year and faces possible Supreme Court review in one of them.

"The actions of the California and Texas Attorneys General are flatly illegal".

The Senate voted 96-0 earlier this year to hold Backpage in civil contempt after it did not comply with a subpoena to hand over documents explaining how it combats sex trafficking in ads on the adult section of its website.

Backpage's general counsel didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ferrer also has been charged in Texas with a single count of money laundering, according to Texas Attorney General's Office spokeswoman Kayleigh Lovvorn.

The investigation into Backpage's dealings reportedly took years, and last year, the Cook County Sheriff in IL had cut off the website's credit card payment system.

A U.S. Senate subcommittee that has investigated the company estimated its annual revenues at more than $150 million.

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