Rentboy.com Chief Executive & Six Employees Arrested On Prostitution Charges

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The chief executive of Rentboy.com, an online male escort
service, and six of the firm’s employees have been arrested over allegations of
promoting prostitution, and making millions of dollars in the process.

Jeffrey Hurant, 50, who operates his firm from Manhattan,
has been accused of selling adverts to high-priced male prostitutes, and
charging Rentboy.com users up to $299 (£193) a month to access the notices.
Officials raided the headquarters of the website, and issued
warrants authorising the seizure of over $1.4millon in proceeds from six bank
accounts.

The firm is believed to have made more than $10million from
the operation since 2010, according to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn. The
authorities have shut down Rentboy.com in the wake of the allegations.
In a disclaimer, Rentboy.com said its aimed to provide its
customers with companionship, and has guidelines which ban offers of sex in
exchange for money.
Law enforcement officers seize evidence from the Manhattan
offices of Rentboy.com (Image: Reuters) Law enforcement officers seize evidence
from the Manhattan offices of Rentboy.com (Image: Reuters)
However, a criminal complaint has included several adverts
alleged to be from the website, which reference sex acts; offered potential
customers reviews of sexual performance and listed rates ranging from $150 an
hour to $3,500 for a weekend.
Hurrant has claimed in interviews that he launched the
website because “escorts were a disenfranchised group,” and he wanted to “the
oldest profession in the world up to date with all the latest technology,“ the
criminal complaint alleges he said.
Rentboy.com also hosted an annual awards show for escorts
called the Hookies, the complaint says.
“As alleged, Rentboy.com attempted to present a veneer of
legality, when in fact this internet brothel made millions of dollars from
promotion of illegal prostitution,” Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly Currie said in a
statement.
If found guilty, each defendant could be handed a five year
prison sentence.

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