Pornhub Parent Company to Pay $1.8 Million to Settle Sex Trafficking Allegation

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The owner of Pornhub, one of the world's largest adult content websites, admitted to profiting from sex trafficking and agreed to make payments to women whose videos were posted without their consent, federal prosecutors in New York announced Thursday.

Aylo Holdings, the website's parent company, reached a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve a charge of engaging in illegal monetary transactions involving proceeds from sex trafficking, according to the office of Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. .

The settlement calls for the Montreal-based company to pay more than $1.8 million to the U.S. government, as well as separate payments to individual women harmed by trafficking. It also requires the appointment of an independent monitor for three years, after which the charges will be dismissed.

“We are hopeful that this resolution, which includes certain agreed-upon payments to the women whose images were posted on the company's platforms and independent follow-up, will bring some measure of closure for those negatively affected,” Peace said in the statement.

James Smith, head of the FBI's New York office, said Aylo Holdings “knowingly enriched itself by turning a blind eye” to victims who told the company they had been tricked and coerced into watching the videos.

Prosecutors said Aylo agreed to pay compensation to victims, but details will be released about who is eligible and how they can apply.

The charge arose from Aylo's role in hosting videos and accepting payments from GirlsDoPorn.

The operators of that now-defunct adult film production company were charged and ultimately convicted of a variety of sex trafficking offenses, including coercing young women to engage in on-camera sex acts that were then posted on Pornhub and other adult sites without your consent.

Prosecutors say that between 2017 and 2020, Aylo received money that company officials knew or should have known was derived from GirlsDoPorn's sex trafficking operations.

They also say the company did not act quickly or thoroughly enough to remove all non-consensual videos, even after several women appealed directly to the company.

Aylo operates free and paid adult websites where content providers can publish and distribute adult videos, and Aylo generates revenue through licensing agreements, advertisements and subscriptions.

According to prosecutors, the company received more than $100,000 from GirlsDoPorn, as well as approximately $764,000 in advertiser payments attributable to the production company.

Aylo Holdings, which was formerly known as MindGeeksaid in a statement that it “deeply regrets” hosting GirlsDoPorn content on its streaming video platforms.

Aylo said GirlsDoPorn provided the company with written consent forms purportedly signed by the women, but was unaware that the forms were obtained through fraud and coercion.

The company also said prosecutors did not find that Aylo or its affiliates violated any federal criminal law prohibiting sex trafficking or sexual exploitation of minors.

“Aylo does not plead guilty to any crime and the Government has agreed to dismiss his charge against the Company after 3 years, subject to the Company's continued compliance with the Deferred Prosecution Agreement,” the company said.

Thursday's agreement filed in federal court in Brooklyn comes after the European Union announced Wednesday that Pornhub and two other major porn sites would have to verify the ages of their users, expanding the reach of the Digital Services Act designed to keep people safe on the Internet. Internet.



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