The U.S. Attorney's Office shut down a website described as "leading source of online advertisements for prostitution and sex trafficking."
The owner of CityXGuide.com, Wilhan Martono, was charged in a 28-count federal indictment, according to U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. Users had described the website as "taking over from where Backpage left off."
Martono, 46, was arrested June 17 in Fremont, California after being indicted on June 2. He's expected to be extradited to Dallas.
The 28 charges he faces include:
- One count of promotion of prostitution and reckless disregard of sex trafficking
- One count of interstate racketeering conspiracy (facilitating prostitution)
- Nine counts of interstate transportation in aid of racketeering (facilitating prostitution)
- 17 counts of money laundering
According to the indictment, Martono allegedy made over $21 million off a suite of illicit websites promoting prostitution and sex trafficking.
CityXGuide, along with other websites, allegedly allowed advertisers to select from a pre-populated list of “intimate activities,” then add nude photographs, descriptions, work hours, methods of payment, and contact information for the women being advertised.
“As soon as DOJ shut down one despicable site, another popped up to take its place,” said Cox. “Like the owners of Backpage, this defendant made millions facilitating the online exploitation of women and children. The Justice Department will not rest until these sites are eliminated and their owners held accountable for their crimes.”