Indictment accuses Backpage founders of aiding prostitution


Sacramento Bee | Tribune News Service | Getty Images founders James Larkin, left, and Michael Lacey, right, attend a hearing on Aug. 23, 2017 in Sacramento.

The founders of and five others at the classified site have been indicted on federal charges in what authorities say was a scheme to facilitate prostitution by running ads for sexual services and hiding their revenues.

An indictment unsealed Monday alleges that on some occasions had helped customers edit their ads so they would stay within legal limits while still encouraging commercial sex.

Website founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin are charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering.

Authorities also have seized and its affiliated websites.

They are already facing state money laundering charges in California.

Larry Kazan, who represents Lacey, didn’t return a call seeking comment. There is no listing for Larkin’s attorney.

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