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Pornhub owner Aylo Holdings fined for ‘knowingly profiting’ from ‘sex trafficking’ videos

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The owner of Pornhub admitted making more than $864,000 (£679,000) from sex trafficking by posting videos of women on his site without their consent, US prosecutors said.

Aylo Holdings “knowingly enriched itself by turning a blind eye” to victims who told the company they were lied to and coerced into viewing the videos, office chief James Smith said of the FBI in New York.

The Montreal company, formerly known as MindGeek, has agreed to pay more than $1.8 million (£1.4 million) to the US government as well as individual damages to victims.

Under an agreement between Aylo and prosecutors, the firm agreed to pay compensation to victims, but it is unclear who is eligible and how to apply.

Aylo was found to have hosted videos and accepted payments from GirlsDoPorn, a now-defunct adult film production company whose operators were convicted of various sex trafficking crimes.

Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in the statement: “We hope that this resolution, which includes certain agreed-upon payments to women whose images were posted on the company’s platforms and independent oversight , will bring some measure. closure to those who are negatively affected.

Pornhub is one of the largest adult content websites in the world and is often referred to as the “YouTube of porn.”

From 2017 to 2020, Aylo received $864,000 (£679,000) that insiders knew or should have known came from GirlsDoPorn’s sex trafficking operations, prosecutors said.

The company was too slow and not thorough enough to remove all nonconsensual videos, even after some women appealed to the company directly.

According to prosecutors, the company received more than $100,000 (£79,000) from GirlsDoPorn as well as approximately $764,000 (£600,000) in advertiser payments attributable to the production company.

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Aylo Holdings said in a statement that it “deeply regrets” hosting content from GirlsDoPorn.

GirlsDoPorn, he said, gave them written consent forms purportedly signed by the women, so she did not know those forms had been obtained through fraud and coercion.

“Aylo does not plead guilty to any crime and the government has agreed to dismiss the charges against the company after three years, subject to the company’s continued compliance with the deferred prosecution agreement,” the company said.

On Wednesday, the EU said Pornhub and two other major porn sites should prove the age of their users to keep people safe on the internet.

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