Backpage Executives Seek Dismissal Of Pimping Charges

Backpage Executives Seek Dismissal Of Pimping Charges

Earlier this month, the Attorney General of California took the unusual step of charging the CEO of classifieds site Backpage and two of the company’s major shareholders with pimping and conspiracy to commit pimping. At the time, AG Kamala Harris said that Backpage was “unlawfully designed…to be the world’s top online brothel.” Now the company’s lawyers are seeking dismissal of those charges. [More]

CEO Of Charged With Allegedly Pimping A Minor, Conspiracy To Commit Pimping

CEO Of Charged With Allegedly Pimping A Minor, Conspiracy To Commit Pimping

Popular listings site has long been a topic of debate for its decision to continue advertising escorts even as other sites like Craigslist tried to back away from these lucrative listings. But now comes news from California that the state has actually arrested the website’s CEO and charged him, along with two of Backpage’s controlling shareholders, with illegally promoting prostitution. [More]


Scammy Indian Call Centers Made Up To $225K/Day Pretending To Be From IRS

No one wants to get a call from the Internal Revenue Service, and for many people the tax return process is confusing and fraught with potential for errors. So when someone calls claiming to be from the IRS and in need of more information, or saying you need to pay up or face arrest, you might assume it’s a legitimate call. It’s not. This week, police in India detained hundreds of employees from three different call centers for allegedly making these sorts of scam calls — and raking in big money in the process. [More]

Leaking That Movie Where Leo DiCaprio Dances With A Bear Will Cost Former Dr. Phil Show Staffer $1.12 Million

Leaking That Movie Where Leo DiCaprio Dances With A Bear Will Cost Former Dr. Phil Show Staffer $1.12 Million

Every awards season, the internet fills up with pristine, pirated copies of Oscar-contending movies, many of them ripped from screeners sent out by the studios to promote the films. One staffer on the Dr. Phil Show who has admitted to leaking a copy of The Revenant online was recently sentenced to fork over $1.12 million to the studio. [More]

Verizon Employee Illegally Sold Customer Information For As Little As $50/Month

Mike Mozart

A Verizon Wireless employee has pleaded guilty to violating federal law by selling customer phone records and location data to a private investigator, starting at a measly $50 a month. [More]

Man Behind $31 Million Mortgage Telemarketing Scam Sentenced To 16 Years In Prison

Tara Chavez

A California man has been sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for his part in what prosecutors believe is the largest mortgage modification scam in history, defrauding victims out of $31 million. [More]

Owner Of Online Colored Contact Lens Store Pleads Guilty To Importing & Selling Counterfeit Lenses

Owner Of Online Colored Contact Lens Store Pleads Guilty To Importing & Selling Counterfeit Lenses

Importing and selling counterfeit goods is against the law, so is selling imported contact lenses — even purely cosmetic ones — that haven’t been authorized by the FDA for stateside distribution. The Las Vegas owner of a website specializing in colored contact lenses has pleaded guilty to all of the above. [More]

Nick Bastian

Lawmaker Seeks FBI Files On Financial Crash; Wants To See Why No Bank Execs Were Arrested

Millions of Americans lost their jobs, houses, savings, and more when the housing market collapsed under the weight of mortgages that should never have been approved, let alone bundled and converted into worthless, toxic securities. And yet, no senior Wall Street bank executives were ever charged with a crime. Now one U.S. congressman is asking to look at the FBI files to find out why. [More]


Feds Say Landlords Offered Reduced Rent For Sex, Evicted Tenants When They Refused

Tenants of homes owned by a pair of St. Louis landlords say the weren’t just subjected to inappropriate sexual comments, but that one landlord also offered to look the other way on the rent if tenants would sleep with him. When the renters refused these advances, they claim the landlords tried to throw them out on the streets. [More]

Walmart Worker Turns Herself In To Police After Accepting $1,000 In Movie Prop Cash

Walmart Worker Turns Herself In To Police After Accepting $1,000 In Movie Prop Cash

When a movie or TV show needs stacks of cash for a scene, they don’t usually withdraw millions from the bank and hope no one walks away with it. Instead, they use prop money that will pass for the real thing on camera, but that any cashier with eyes would immediately notice is fake. So when some Walmart shoppers in Georgia managed to buy $1,000 of stuff with fake movie money, police were suspicious about the cashier’s involvement. [More]


Justice Department To Phase Out Use Of Private Prisons

Around 15% of the nearly 200,000 inmates in federal custody are housed in privately operated prisons that have come under fire for allegations of poor treatment of prisoners and less stringent security measures — all at a yearly price tag to taxpayers of $639 million. Today, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced plans to phase out the Justice Department’s use of private facilities over the coming years. [More]


Do You Have A Constitutional Right To Shop At Home Depot?

It’s not uncommon for a retailer to ban shoplifters from ever stepping foot on the premises again. However, a California man convicted of stealing from a Home Depot says that being barred from going back to the store — or any other Depot in the state — is a violation of his rights. [More]


Man Accused Of Groping Fellow Passenger On Virgin America Flight

When it comes to air travel, it seems that every few months a passenger is assaulted by a fellow traveler. This time a woman on a Virgin America flight said her seat mate inappropriately touched her, and then offered to buy drinks to smooth things over.  [More]

Lenka Reznicek

FCC Wants To Fine Pair Of Idiots $25K Each For Faking Caller ID Of Prison, School To Harass Ex-Wife

Spoofing — the practice of sending out fake caller ID information to disguise the caller’s real identity — is legal, so long as it’s not done to deceive or harm anyone. Reporters, victims of domestic abuse, human rights organizations, all legally use spoofing to protect their locations or sources. This sort of trickery is definitely not allowed when it’s deployed just to make harassing phone calls to your ex. [More]

Paul Thompson

Former St. Louis Cardinals Exec Sentenced To 46 Months For Hacking Houston Astros

More than six months after pleading guilty to hacking into the Houston Astros’ front office computer network, a former St. Louis Cardinals executive has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison. [More]


Court: Microsoft Can’t Be Forced To Turn Over User Emails Stored Outside Of U.S.

When law enforcement officials serve a tech company with a warrant for information on a specific user, does the fact that the company could easily access that information online negate the concern that the sought-after data is stored wholly outside the U.S.? A federal appeals court — in a case involving a Microsoft email user — says that the location of the information does matter. [More]


No, You Won’t Go To Federal Prison For Sharing Your Netflix Password

Last week, a federal appeals court issued a ruling that has been widely reported to imply that sharing your password for Netflix of HBO Go is a federal crime that could get you locked up in federal prison. However, looking at the actual case involved in this ruling, it’s more than a bit of a stretch to apply this decision to the common practice of sharing login info. [More]