“Backpage.com has run a vile, open-air trafficking bazaar that has operated with impunity for far too long. The indictment announced today deals a massive blow to this illicit online economy, and my Office is proud to have provided investigative support in this case.”
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Last month, District Attorney Vance was joined by advocates and survivors to urge the U.S. Senate to pass the “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.” The bill, known as “FOSTA/SESTA,” was passed the following week, and awaits the President’s signature. In January, District Attorney Vance testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee at a hearing titled “Following the Money: How Human Traffickers Exploit U.S. Financial Markets.” In his testimony, District Attorney Vance discussed roadblocks prosecutors face in human trafficking investigations, including the use of smartphone encryption, cryptocurrencies, and anonymous shell corporations.