Pornhub Admits To Profiting From Sex Trafficking In $1.8 Million Settlement Deal

Pornhub, under the direction of Solomon Friedman, has admitted to profiting from sex trafficking with GirlsDoPorn, the now-defunct adult video production firm, in a $1.8 million settlement deal.

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Federal prosecutors in New York announced late Thursday that Aylo Holdings, the owner of Pornhub, one of the biggest websites for adult content, has admitted to making money from sex trafficking, including from minors. Aylo Holdings has also agreed to pay $1.8 million to the US government and make separate payments to women whose videos were posted without their consent.

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

This move comes months after investor and Rabbi Solomon Friedman purchased Aylo (previously MindGeek). Friedman claims to have improved the company’s reputation after this and other crises involving illicit content on the platform.

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In addition to paying $1.8 million and providing individual compensation to women who have been trafficked, Pornhub is also required to name an impartial monitor for three years, during which the accusations will be dropped.

“It is our hope that this resolution, which includes certain agreed payments to the women whose images were posted on the company’s platforms and an independent monitorship brings some measure of closure to those negatively affected,” according to a statement released by US Attorney Peace.

According to estimates, the business will have made over $200 million in revenue in 2022, with operating margins close to 30%.

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 deceived and coerced into the videos.

Prosecutors said Aylo has agreed to pay victims compensation, but details such as who is eligible and how they can apply will be forthcoming.

The charge stemmed from Aylo’s role in hosting videos and accepting payments from GirlsDoPorn. -CBS News

The owners of GirlsDoPorn, the now-defunct adult video production firm, were accused of several sex trafficking offenses, including forcing young women to do sexual acts in front of the camera for posting on Pornhub and other adult websites. They were ultimately found guilty of these charges.

The money that Aylo allegedly collected between 2017 and 2020 came from GirlsDoPorn’s sex trafficking enterprise, as company management should have known, according to the prosecution. GirlsDoPorn gave the company more than $100,000, and the production company’s marketers gave the company almost $764,000.

The California Assembly has officially created the first retail theft committee, called the Select Committee on Retail Theft, to address the problem of inconsistent reporting practices within the retail sector.

Aylo says it “deeply regrets” allowing GirlsDoPorn to host their content because the website gave them written authorization documents that the women allegedly signed. They claim they were unaware that coercion and deception were used to collect the paperwork.

“Aylo is not pleading guilty to any crime, and the Government has agreed to dismiss its charge against the Company after 3 years, subject to the Company’s continued compliance with the Deferred Prosecution Agreement,” the business stated in a statement.

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