The owners of Escorts.com have forfeited its domain name after being accused of supporting illegal activities, it has been reported.
Philadelphia companies National A-1 Advertising Inc. and R.S. Duffy Inc – which operate at the same address and share the rights to the domain name – have pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy.
The companies have agreed to a plea bargain, which sees no criminal charges brought against natural persons at either company.
According to the Associated Press, the firms will now forfeit $4.9 million, pay a $1.5 million fine and serve one-and-a-half years of probation.
Escorts.com was used by prostitutes and escorts to advertise their services, the US District Court in Williamsport heard.
“The defendants received subscription fees and payments in the form of money orders, checks, and credit cards from escorts and users of Escorts.com throughout the nation,” US attorney Peter J. Smith wrote in the filing.
“To conduct their operations, the defendants maintained a number of accounts at various financial institutions, investment funds, and financial services providers affecting interstate and foreign commerce.”