The CEO of Backpage.com, which has offices in Dallas, has been arrested in Houston on felony sex charges. The company began in the back pages of alternative newspapers like the Dallas Observer.
CEO Carl Ferrer was arrested in Houston on a California warrant. He’s accused of making money off adult and child prostitution through Backpage.com.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in Dallas that Backpage is the single largest advertiser of adult escort services.
“Businesses like Backpage advertise sex acts for money," Paxton said. "Profits from this sinister line of advertising registers in the millions of dollars annually. Backpage is a company from the Netherlands, but its main office is right here in Dallas Texas.”
Ferrer, who’s 55, wasn’t the only Backpage executive being sought. Officials say they’re also looking for controlling shareholders Michael Lacy and James Larkin.
Backpage allows users to advertise a lot of items online – at first look, it seems like a typical classified ad site. But California officials say 99% of its revenue during a year and a half of the investigation came from adult services.