shut down by Federal agents

Federal agents have shut down the classified website Friday. was an online marketplace where people could buy just about anything, but the Feds charge one of the things for sale was sex.

Prostitution, with some of it involving children.

"The indictment also summarizes the experiences of 17 victims who were trafficked via the Backpage website," said Cosme Lopez with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix. "Several of the victims were minors, as young as 14 years old when they were trafficked. One of the victims identified in the indictment was murdered by a customer, who then attempted to burn her corpse."

Now, there's a message on the site that reads: " and its affiliated websites have been seized."

U.S. Attorney's Office officials say prostitution on the site brought in a half a billion dollars.

"The indictment alleges that Backpage has earned approximately $500 million in prostitution-related revenue since its inception 2004, and that the defendants took various steps to launder the money," said Lopez.

Where did all that money go? The Feds say some of it moved around foreign banks in Iceland, Hungary, Liechtenstein and the Netherlands, and some went in and out of the computer currency Bitcoin.


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