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GirlsDoPorn Founder Has Been Added To FBI’s ‘Most Wanted Fugitive’ List
“This was a despicable crime that has devastated its victims,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said while announcing the addition of Michael James Pratt to the list of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.”
The founder of the online pornography website “GirlsDoPorn” has been added to the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list after authorities say he forced women and underage girls into commercial sex acts.
The FBI San Diego Field Office announced Wednesday that Michael James Pratt, 39, had been added to the notorious most wanted list for his alleged involvement in sex trafficking and production of child pornography nearly three years after a federal warrant was issued for his arrest.
Between 2012 and October 2019, authorities said Pratt’s websites “GirlsDoPorn” and “GirlsDoToys” generated more than $17 million in revenue using videos taken by “force, fraud and coercion” of women and underage girls, according to a ‘Most Wanted’ poster obtained by Oxygen.com.
Pratt and his co-conspirators—who have already been taken into custody—are accused of recruiting young women from across the United States by claiming to be searching for clothed modeling jobs.
Once the women or underage girls would respond to the ads, authorities said they were told they were hiring for pornographic videos which would pay between $3,000 and $5,000 for a one-day shoot. The women were allegedly assured that the footage was only being used for private DVD collectors and would not be put on the internet. They were told their identities would remain anonymous.
However, authorities said once the women went to the shooting locations, which were often held at luxury hotels, they were held against their will until the videos were made. Some of the women were sexually assaulted or forced to perform certain sex acts they did not agree to, authorities said. The videos were then posted to the revenue-generating website.
The women in the videos were often plied with alcohol and cannabis before filming and were forced to sign contracts they weren’t given time to read, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
“This was a despicable crime that has devastated its victims,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said while announcing Pratt’s place on the list. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to combating all forms of sex trafficking. Today’s announcement is yet another important step in our commitment to bring Michael Pratt back to San Diego to face these charges and to seek justice for the victims of these crimes.”
Pratt went on the run in 2019 in the midst of a civil trial brought on by 22 women who sued him and his partners for using false and misleading claims, according to the local paper.
The judge awarded the women a civil judgement of $12.7 million.
That same year, the FBI issued a warrant for Pratt’s arrest, but by that time he had already disappeared.
The FBI is now offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
“Locating Pratt is a high priority for the FBI in order to stop him from victimizing anyone else,” said Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy. “Michael James Pratt preyed on young women and girls and allegedly coerced or forced them through threats and fraud to participate in pornographic videos. He engages in dangerous and deceptive practices wherever he goes, and we will not waiver until justice is served.”
Authorities say the New Zealand native also has ties to or may have visited multiple countries including Australia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Singapore, Japan, Chile, Croatia and France. They believe he has “the financial means to be anywhere around the world.”
Pratt is described as being 6’0” and weighing 209 pounds. When Pratt was last seen, he had brown hair and hazel eyes, authorities said.
Four of Pratt’s co-defendants in the case have already pleaded guilty to their involvement in the scheme, according to Law & Crime.
Ruben Andre Garcia was sentenced to 20 years behind bars, while the remaining three await sentencing in October.
Defendant Matthew Issac Wolfe admitted as part of his plea to filming about 100 videos for the website over seven years. He also managed the company’s finances.
As part of his agreement, prosecutors have recommended he receive no more than 12.5 years behind bars; however, they made a similar agreement in Garcia’s case and the judge ultimately opted to hand down a harsher sentence.
Another cameraman, Theodore Wilfred Gyi, is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 7, alongside Valorie Moser, who had served as a bookkeeper for the websites, according to the news outlet.