California pair arrested over
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[June 27, 2014]
By Madeleine Thomas
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An adult website
that prosecutors say hooked up prostitutes with clients, under a thin
disguise of offering strip club reviews, has been shut down and the
website's two Northern California operators were arrested, federal
authorities said on Thursday.
Eric “Red” Omuro, 53, of Mountain View near San Francisco, and his
assistant, Annemarie “Maddie” Lanoce, 40, were charged in an
indictment earlier this week with using the Internet to facilitate
Federal prosecutors said the two were arrested on Wednesday in
connection with the operations of the website, myredbook.com. Omuro
also was charged with over 20 counts of money laundering for moving
myredbook.com revenue into bank accounts he controlled, they said.
The myredbook.com website gained attention in May in connection with
the death of a Sacramento woman whom police say was killed by her
live-in boyfriend, a battalion chief for a California wildland fire
agency. Police said the fire chief, who has been charged with
murder, met the woman through myredbook.com.
Myredbook.com claimed to offer “escort, massage, and strip club
reviews,” but FBI agents found it also hosted advertisements for
prostitutes with explicit photos, menus of sexual services and
hourly and nightly rates, federal prosecutors said.
Federal authorities are seeking the forfeiture of over $5 million in
assets and funds, including Omuro's BMW, that prosecutors said was
derived from the prostitution trade.
In addition to targeting myredbook.com, U.S. authorities seized the
domain name of a related site, sfredbook.com, and shut it down as
well, prosecutors said.
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An attorney for Omuro and Lanoce could not be reached for comment.
Lanoce pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and was released on bail of
$250,000, according to court records.
A U.S. District Court judge set a hearing for Friday for Omuro, who
was released on bail of $500,000, to enter a plea.
(Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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