Backpage founder Michael Lacey convicted on one count of money laundering


PHOENIX — founder Michael Lacey was found guilty Thursday of one count of money laundering and acquitted of another. But an Arizona jury deadlocked on 84 more charges against him in a case that alleged he participated in a scheme to sell sex ads through the lucrative classified site, prompting a federal judge to declare a mistrial.

This is the second time that a mistrial has been declared in the case against the founder of the website. US District Judge Diane Humitiwa A mistrial was declared in Phoenix after jurors deliberated for six days.

Lacey’s first trial in 2021 It ended in a mistrial When another judge concluded that prosecutors had too many references to child sex trafficking in a case in which no one faced such a charge.

Lacey, 75, was tried on a total of 86 felony counts in the case against him and four other Backpage employees.

CFO John Bronst was convicted of conspiracy to violate the travel law and more than 30 counts of money laundering.

Executive Vice President Scott Speer was convicted of one count of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act, more than a dozen counts of facilitating prostitution and nearly 20 counts of money laundering.

Director of Operations Andrew Padilla and Assistant Director of Operations Joey Foote were acquitted of conspiracy and dozens of charges of facilitating prostitution.

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