Rentboy.com owner charged with prostitution and money laundering
The former CEO of escort website Rentboy.com was indicted on charges of promoting prostitution and money laundering.
Following a raid on the headquarters of the gay website last August, Jeffrey Hurant – along with six of his employees – were arrested.
The 50-year-old was originally faced accusations of prostitution, after bank accounts containing millions of dollars were frozen.
Five months later, things are not looking good for the former CEO, as fresh charges were brought against him this week.
Reuters reports that a three-count indictment has been brought against Hurant and Easy Rent Systems Inc – who have been named as a co-defendant.
The indictment was handed down by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn. The money laundering charge was not part of the original criminal complaint.
Hurant’s attorney Michael Tremonte assured reporters that his client will fight the charges and the he predicts “full vindication at trial.”
“The government’s charges against Mr. Hurant are unwarranted,” he added.
“He ran his business openly for nearly 20 years, and it makes no sense to single him out for criminal prosecution.”
Regarding the six employees also arrested, a spokeswoman for Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said “the criminal complaint against the former employees remains pending.”
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Rentboy.com was founded in 1986 and was known as the largest online male escort website before its New York offices were raided last summer.
The site – which boasted ten thousand users on 2,100 cities across the world – described itself as “the original and world’s largest male escort site.”
However, authorities claim the site was nothing more than a front for operating a prostitution ring.
“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 acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Kellie Currie following the raid.
Hurant has since claimed he is innocence, before pleading for donations from the public in order help cover legal costs.