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Porn Site Operator Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking Conspiracy that Victimized Women, Website Owner a Fugitive

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An adult website operator pled guilty in federal court Tuesday for conspiring to coerce young women to appear in sex videos on several porn websites, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California announced. 

Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 40, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the conspiracy count to which Wolfe pleaded guilty pertains to 15 victims, all adults. 

The GirlsDoPorn website was removed from the internet in January of 2020. 

Wolfe’s three co-defendants have also pled guilty to their respective charges in the case. But his former boss, and co-defendant Michael James Pratt, 39, the owner of the porn website, remains a fugitive. He has been wanted by the FBI since 2020 after fleeing the country.

A federal grand jury indicted Wolfe and other key participants in 2019. At the time, the defendants were embroiled in a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court filed by 22 women who were victimized by the conspiracy, according to The Union-Tribune

The women won a $12.7 million judgment against Pratt, Wolfe, and “adult performer” Ruben Andre Garcia in that case. 

Had a Wide Range of Responsibilities at Porn Company

Wolfe admitted that he moved from New Zealand to the United States in 2011 to work for his friend Pratt. He had a wide range of responsibilities at the porn company which was based in San Diego, California. He filmed approximately 100 videos, uploaded finished videos onto the internet, oversaw the company’s financial books, and operated various business entities that were used to promote the business. Wolfe worked at the company from 2011 until his arrest in October 2019.

According to prosecutors, in order to persuade women to appear in the videos, Wolfe would give the would-be models several assurances. Wolfe admitted to telling women that the videos would never be posted online, the videos would never be released in the United States, and that no one who knew the women would ever find out about the videos. 

All of this he knew was false, the prosecutors said because the videos were exclusively marketed and distributed on the internet. 

Wolfe also trained co-defendant Theodore Gyi, a cameraman, on how to run video shoots and told Gyi that, if asked, to tell the women that the videos would not be posted on the internet.

Wolfe also admitted that he was aware that personally identifying information and social media accounts for some of the women were being posted online on a website controlled by Pratt. This caused the victims to be subjected to severe harassment. 

Even after Wolfe became aware that models’ personal information was being posted online, he and others continued to assure prospective models that no one would ever find out about their video shoot or learn their identity.

U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a press release the actions of Wolfe and the other defendants have had a disastrous effect on the lives of numerous young women. 

“This crime had a devastating impact on the victims,” Grossman said. “We will seek justice for human trafficking victims in hopes that it will help them reclaim their lives and leave the pain of this experience in the past.” 

Grossman commended the prosecution team as well as FBI agents and members of the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force for their continuing effort to investigate and prosecute this important case.

“Wolfe lied to and preyed on vulnerable young women, subjecting them to years of relentless harassment, fear, and mental anguish,” said Stacey Moy, special agent in charge of the FBI San Diego Field Office. “Identifying, investigating, and apprehending sex trafficking offenders is a critical part of our mission. We will continue to work with our partners every day to hold these perpetrators accountable for their crimes.”

Wolfe is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino on Oct. 10. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. But due to a plea agreement, prosecutors said they would recommend a term in the mid-range of the sentencing guidelines, not above 12 years and six months, according to The Union-Tribune

Any additional victims of the alleged crime are encouraged to call the San Diego FBI at 858-320-1800.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of Pratt. Individuals with information about Pratt should contact their local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.

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Porn Site Operator Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking Conspiracy that Victimized Women, Website Owner a Fugitive

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