Founder of California-based porn empire is arrested in Spain

The founder of a California-based porn empire that coerced young women into making adult videos has been arrested in Spain, three years after he fled while facing sex trafficking charges, the FBI said.

Michael James Pratt was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List. Spanish National Police arrested him in Madrid on Wednesday, the FBI’s San Diego field office said in a statement Thursday.

Pratt, a native of New Zealand, is being held in Spain pending extradition to San Diego on charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking of minors, manufacture of child pornography and money laundering conspiracy.

Pratt, 40, founded the now-defunct GirlsDoPorn website in San Diego. In 2019, he and others were charged with sex crimes in San Diego after being assaulted in a civil lawsuit by 22 women who claimed they were victims of fraud and breach of contract.

The women said they were treated to alcohol and marijuana before being rushed into signing a contract they were not allowed to read. Some said they were sexually assaulted and held against their will in hotel rooms until adult filming wrapped.

A judge ruled in favor of the women, awarding a $12.7 million judgment on Pratt, Matthew Isaac Wolfe and adult producer and performer Ruben Andre Garcia.

Wolfe, who oversaw the day-to-day operations, finances, marketing and filming for the site, earlier this year pleaded guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking conspiracy. He’s awaiting sentencing.

The other co-defendants also pleaded guilty. Garcia was sentenced to 20 years in prison and cameraman Theodore Gyi to four years.

Valorie Moser, a former GirlsDoPorn accountant, pleaded guilty last year.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-12-24/founder-of-california-based-porn-empire-is-arrested-in-spain Founder of California-based porn empire is arrested in Spain

Alley Einstein

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