Montreal-based Pornhub owner reaches deal with U.S. prosecutors over ties to alleged sex trafficking

The Montreal-based company that owns and operates adult entertainment websites including Pornhub.com has reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department over its ties to an alleged sex trafficking operation, court records showed.

Lawyers for Aylo Holdings, formerly known as MindGeek, are set to appear in Brooklyn federal court later on Thursday for a hearing on the proposed agreement, according to the records.

Federal prosecutors say Aylo’s websites hosted content from pornography websites GirlsDoPorn.com (GDP) and GirlsDoToys.com (GDT), whose creators and operators were charged in California in 2019 with deceiving and coercing young women to appear in sex videos. Several were convicted.

Aylo — whose brands also include YouPorn and Brazzers — knew that its proceeds from those websites stemmed from illegal activity, prosecutors said.

“Aylo deeply regrets that its platforms hosted any content produced by GDP/GDT,” the company said in a Nov. 10 statement posted on its website announcing the deferred prosecution agreement, adding that it would make an unspecified amount of “monetary payments” to victims.

The company added that GDP gave it purported consent forms signed by women in the videos that it now understands were the result of “fraud and coercion.”

Under the agreement, the criminal charge against Aylo of engaging in monetary transactions derived from unlawful activity will be dismissed after three years, as long as the company improves its compliance protocols. Aylo will also have an independent compliance monitor for that period.

Hundreds of individuals have been identified as victims of GDP’s sex trafficking, prosecutors said.

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