California Operators of Myredbook.com Website Arrested for Facilitating Prostitution and Money Laundering
Myredbook.com and Sfredbook.com Websites Seized by FBI
Eric Omuro, of Mountain View, California, a.k.a “Red,” was arrested today following his indictment by a federal grand jury on charges involving the use of the mail and the Internet to facilitate prostitution, and multiple counts of money laundering. Annemarie Lanoce, 40, of Rocklin, California, was also indicted and arrested today for use of the mail and the Internet to facilitate prostitution.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez of the San Francisco Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation made the announcement.
As part of today’s operation, the FBI seized the domain names sfredbook.com and myRedBook.com, which were allegedly operated by Omuro, with Lanoce’s assistance to facilitate prostitution in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the West Coast region of the United States.
According to information available on the publically accessible website as of the date of its seizure by the FBI, myRedbook.com purported to provide “Escort, Massage, and Strip Club Reviews.” Instead, however, the websites were used to host advertisements for prostitutes, complete with explicit photos, lewd physical descriptions, menus of sexual services, hourly and nightly rates, and customer reviews of the prostitutes’ services. The websites used acronyms for numerous sex acts, which were defined in graphic detail in the websites’ “Terms and Acronyms” section. Although the websites could be accessed for free, myRedBook.com advertised fees for premier placement of prostitution advertisements and for “VIP Memberships,” which purportedly allowed customers access to “private forums” and heightened capabilities to search reviews of the prostitution services.
Omuro, 53, who allegedly used numerous aliases, also engaged in money transfers to move myredbook.com revenue into bank accounts which he controlled. According to the Indictment, Omuro engaged in more than twenty monetary transactions to launder the profits derived from the facilitation of prostitution. The Indictment seeks the forfeiture of more than $5 million in property and money derived from the facilitation of prostitution, as well as the Internet domain names myredbook.com and sfredbook.com .
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office, the IRS, and the Oakland Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Keith Becker of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elise Becker and Patricia Kenney of the Northern District of California. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance to the prosecution.