The classified sex-advertising website Backpage.com used cryptocurrency exchanges to launder millions of dollars in bitcoin. That’s what the U.S. Department of Justice alleged in a bombshell 93-page federal indictment which accused the online sex marketplace of money-laundering, conspiracy, and facilitating prostitution.
The Department of Justice shut down the website last week amid findings that it promoted underage prostitution and sex trafficking since its launch in 2004. Moreover, the site laundered tens of millions of dollars using cryptocurrency, the DOJ said.
“[Illegal prostitution ads] have enabled Backpage to earn over $500 million in prostitution-related revenue since its inception,” the indictment read. “Virtually every dollar flowing into Backpage’s coffers represents the proceeds of illegal activity.”