CEO Of Child Sex Trafficking Site Given FBI Award By Mueller


CEO of child sex trafficking site backpage.com given FBI award by Mueller

Special Counsel Robert Mueller awarded BackPage.com CEO Carl Ferrer an FBI award for working in an investigative capacity with the bureau.  In 2011, Mueller bestowed the CEO of one of America’s biggest child sex trafficking websites a prestigious FBI award, along with a cash reward.

Truepundit.com reports: Ironic especially since Ferrer — previously charged criminally for pimping — was arrested by the FBI last week and plead out to sweeping criminal charges on Thursday.

Last week the FBI seized the embattled BackPage.com website, the Justice Department alleging its founders and employees — including Ferrer — helped traffic underage sex victims, as well launder millions of dollars among other federal charges.

“For far too long, Backpage.com existed as the dominant marketplace for illicit commercial sex, a place where sex traffickers frequently advertised children and adults alike,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday. “But this illegality stops right now.”

Sessions harsh statement came after Ferrer pleaded guilty to state and federal charges of conspiracy, money laundering and more. Ferrer likewise agreed to testify in ongoing prosecutions against other Backpage.com owners who are fighting the charges, authorities said.

But it is not the first time Ferrer has agreed to work as a rat for the FBI concerning BackPage.com’s operations. Mueller’s FBI award lists Ferrer as BackPage.com Vice President.

Issued in May 2011, Mueller’s FBI award to Ferrer reads:

“For your outstanding cooperation and assistance in connection with an investigation of great importance. The FBI’s ability to carry out its investigative responsibilities to the American people has been greatly enhanced through your help, and you can be very proud of your valuable contribution to the success achieved.”


Backpage.com CEO’s award from the FBI’s Robert Mueller

Was Ferrer working as a confidential informant for the FBI? It is quite possible. If so, why did it take the FBI so long to close the web site, especially if it was in the business of harming and sexually exploiting children?

FBI officials reached late Thursday said it was possible Ferrer was recognized by the FBI for assisting with additional investigations depending on the working agreement between BackPage.com, Ferrer and the Bureau.

Did James Comey’s FBI work with BackPage.com too after Mueller?

Federal prosecutors say that Backpage brought in a half-billion dollars since it began in 2004, mostly through prominent risque advertising for escorts and massages, among other services and some goods for sale. Authorities allege the site was often used to traffic underage victims, while company officials said they tried to scrub the website of such ads.

Ferrer will serve no more than five years in prison under a California agreement in which he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of money laundering in California. Also Thursday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the company pleaded guilty to human trafficking.

Under his plea agreement, Ferrer agreed to make the company’s data available to law enforcement as investigations and prosecutions continue. The guilty pleas are the latest in a cascade of developments in the last week against the company founded by the former owners of the Village Voice in New York City, Michael Lacey, 69, and James Larkin, 68.

Ferrer could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine in the federal case in Arizona, while Backpage.com could face a maximum fine of $500,000 for its money laundering conspiracy plea in the Arizona case.

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LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich

ALERT ALERT

 Judge Orders Mueller To Prove  Russia Meddled In Election 

Judge Dabney L. Friedrich

A Washington federal judge on Thursday ordered special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to clarify election meddling claims lodged against a Russian company operated by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Bloomberg.

Concord Management and Consulting, LLC. – one of three businesses indicted by Mueller in February along with 13 individuals for election meddling, surprised the special counsel in April when they actually showed up in court to fight the charges. Mueller’s team tried to delay Concord from entering the case, arguing that thee Russian company not been properly served, however Judge Dabney Friedrich denied the request – effectively telling prosecutors ‘well, they’re here.’

Concord was accused in the indictment of supporting the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian ‘troll farm’ accused of trying to influence the 2016 US election.

On Thursday, Judge Freidrich asked Mueller’s prosecutors if she should assume they aren’t accusing Concord of violating US laws applicable to election expenditures and failure to register as a foreign agent.

Concord has asked Dabney to throw out the charges – claiming that Mueller’s office fabricated a crime, and that there is no law against interfering in elections.

According to the judge’s request for clarification, the Justice Department has argued that it doesn’t have to show that Concord had a legal duty to report its expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. Rather, the allegation is that the company knowingly engaged in deceptive acts that precluded the FEC, or the Justice Department, from ascertaining whether they had broken the law. -Bloomberg

On Monday, Friedrich raised questions over whether the special counsel’s office could prove a key element of their case – saying that it was “hard to see” how allegations of Russian influence were intended to interfere with US government operations vs. simply “confusing voters,” reports law.com.

During a 90-minute hearing, Friedrich questioned prosecutor Jonathan Kravis about how the government would be able to show the Russian defendants were aware of the Justice Department and FEC’s functions and then deliberately sought to skirt them.

“You still have to show knowledge of the agencies and what they do. How do you do that?” Friedrich asked.

Kravis, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, argued that the government needed only to show that Concord Management and the other defendants were generally aware that the U.S. government “regulates and monitors” foreign participation in American politics. That awareness, Kravis said, could be inferred from the Russians’ alleged creation of fake social media accounts that appeared to be run by U.S. citizens and “computer infrastructure” intended to mask the Russian origin of the influence operation.

“That is deception that is directed at a higher level,” Kravis said. Kravis appeared in court with Michael Dreeben, a top Justice Department appellate lawyer on detail to the special counsel’s office. -law.com

Concord pleaded not guilty in May. Their attorney, Eric Dubelier – a partner at Reed Smith, has described the election meddling charges as “make believe,” arguing on Monday that Mueller’s indictment against Concord “doesn’t charge a crime.”

“There is no statute of interfering with an election. There just isn’t,” said Dubelier, who added that Mueller’s office alleged a “made-up crime to fit the facts they have.”

Dubelier added that the case against Concord Management is the first in US history “where anyone has ever been charged with defrauding the Justice Department” through their failure to register under FARA.

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