Ped-Light District Site Escorts.Com In $6.4 Million U.S. Settlement

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Two companies linked to Philadelphia pornography king Richard Cohen, National A-1 Advertising and R.S. Duffy Inc., have agreed to plead guilty to money laundering and to forfeit $4.9 million in proceeds from Escorts.com, an online red-light district used by prostitutes and johns, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. The companies also agreed to pay a $1.5 million fine and serve 18 months’ probation, according to the plea agreement filed in federal court.

The plea agreement, which needs court approval, ends a criminal probe that thrust the elusive, homegrown porn baron into the media spotlight. The companies made revenue from women who advertised on the site and men who used it, prosecutors said. “The defendants received subscription fees and payments in the form of money orders, checks, and credit cards from escorts and users of Escorts.com throughout the nation,” U.S. Attorney Peter Smith said. The money-laundering and criminal-forfeiture charges grew out of a State Police investigation in central Pennsylvania, where a trooper uncovered a link between online prostitution in the Williamsport area and Escorts.com.

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