Employees of Rentboy Escort Service Charged with Promoting Prostitution

NEW YORK, August 25, 2015 (Danielle Haynes) – The head of a multi-million dollar escort service Rentboy.com and six of his employees were arrested Tuesday in New York on charges they promoted prostitution.

Jeffrey Hurant, the CEO of Rentboy.com and six employees were each charged with conspiring to violate the Travel Act by promoting prostitution in an indictment out of U.S. District Court in New York’s Eastern District.

Rentboy charges customers between $59.95 and several hundred dollars each month to advertise sexual services, a news release from the Department of Justice says. With an account, subscribers can feature what sexual acts they are willing to perform and how much they charge. Between 2010 and 2015, Rentboy grossed more than $10 million in proceeds.

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said the website profited from prostitution despite not explicitly advertising sexual services.

“As alleged, Rentboy.com attempted to present a veneer of legality, when in fact this internet brothel made millions of dollars from the promotion of illegal prostitution,” said Kelly T. Currie, acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

In addition to the arrests, the government seized more than $1.4 million of alleged criminal proceeds from six Rentboy.com bank accounts, and took steps to shut down the company’s domain name.

Hurant’s attorney, Charles Hochbaum, denied the website promotes prostitution.

“That’s the key to this case, the First Amendment right to advertise,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “There’s disclaimers all over the website, which indicate that this is not a website for sexual purposes.”

If convicted, the seven defendants each face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


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