Porn website owner Michael James Pratt, fugitive on FBI's most wanted list, captured in Spain
Porn website owner Michael James Pratt, one of the FBI's ten most wanted fugitives, has been captured in Spain, the bureau announced Friday.
Pratt, who was placed on the notorious "10 Most Wanted Fugitives" list in September, was arrested on Wednesday by Spanish authorities in Madrid, the FBI said. He was charged in a 19-count indictment with sex trafficking, production of child pornography, sex trafficking of a minor and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in connection with a porn website he co-owned, according to the FBI's news release.
Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy of the FBI San Diego Field Office credited federal and international partners in a statement for making sure Pratt was "brought to justice."
Earlier Friday, the Spanish national police tweeted a video of an arrest and said they captured a New Zealand fugitive on the FBI's most wanted list. Pratt is the only person from New Zealand on the list.
Pratt, the co-owner of adult websites "GirlsDoPorn" and "GirlsDoToys," and others allegedly took part in an operation from 2012-2019 to recruit young adult women and minors to "engage in commercial sex acts by force, fraud and coercion," the FBI said. He and his co-conspirators allegedly recruited women from around the U.S. and Canada by posting false internet ads for clothed modeling jobs, which the victims later found were pornographic productions, according to the FBI. Among the allegations include women were not allowed to leave shooting locations until the videos were completed, some were allegedly forced to perform sex acts and others were allegedly sexually assaulted, officials said.
Pratt's pornography websites generated more than $17 million in revenue, the bureau said.
He has been a fugitive since 2019 after a federal arrest warrant was issued for Pratt in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California in November of that year. The FBI put him on the most wanted list in September and offered a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his arrest.
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