Porn News

Fla. Company to Forfeit $1M Over Porn Tie

NEWARK, N.J. — A Florida company pleaded guilty Monday to processing credit card payments for an international child pornography ring. Connections USA agreed to forfeit $1.1 million and dissolve its business.

The Fort Lauderdale-based company was indicted in January in a money-laundering scheme along with a Belarus company, Regpay Co. Ltd., which was charged with processing paid memberships to about 50 pornography Web sites. Connections USA, pleading guilty to conspiracy, admitted it received Regpay’s membership fees and wired the money to Latvia as directed by the company. Sentencing was set for Aug. 16.

“It’s one of the first prosecutions of its type,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlos F. Ortiz. “Our goal is to go after such companies and put them out of business.”

Connections USA, which did business as iServe.com, processed nearly $1 million in payments monthly until raided by federal agents last June, court papers said.

It kept 11 percent as its commission, according to former CEO Eugene E. Valentine, who pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to launder money for Regpay and its principals.

Henry E. Klingeman, a lawyer representing Connections’ owner, whom he declined to identify, said “the company’s ownership” immediately began to cooperate with federal authorities after the raid.

Four of Regpay’s leaders were indicted in January; three were arrested over the summer in France and Spain. One remains at large.

As part of the case, dozens of U.S. citizens were charged with downloading child pornography.

 

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