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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 31, 2018

Cary Man Ordered to Pay $293,500 in Restitution to Victims of Child Exploitation Offenses

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announces that yesterday in federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III ordered ADAM GEOFFREY FRANKEL, 33, of Cary, North Carolina, to pay $293,500 in restitution to four minor victims of child exploitation crimes charged against him.

FRANKEL was named in a twelve-count Superseding Indictment on September 8, 2017, including charges of manufacturing child pornography, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.  On December 11, 2017, FRANKEL pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to manufacturing child pornography. On May 24, 2018, FRANKEL was sentenced to 295 months of imprisonment followed by ten years of supervised release on that charge.

FRANKEL is now ordered to pay $250,000 to a minor victim he used to manufacture child pornography. FRANKEL is ordered to pay the remaining $43,500 to three identified victims of child pornography produced by others, which FRANKEL had in his possession at the time of his arrest.

Although all victims of child exploitation crimes are entitled to restitution under federal law, additional victims in this case either could not be identified or asked that the United States not seek restitution on their behalf.

In addition to restitution, FRANKEL was also ordered to forfeit his residence located on Belrose Drive in Cary along with several pieces of computer equipment, all of which were used to commit the charged offense.

This case arose in October of 2014, when the Cary Police Department began an online investigation relating to the distribution and receipt of child pornography through file sharing programs. During the course of the investigation, FRANKEL was identified downloading and distributing child pornography from an IP address associated with his home.  A search warrant was issued for FRANKLE’s home and law enforcement seized multiple computers, external hard drives, cellular phones and media storage devices.  The forensic examination of the items collected contained multiple videos created by FRANKEL, he communicated with underage females and solicited them to perform sexual acts on video. The forensic examination also uncovered the defendant’s collection of child pornography of a least 136,350 images.

This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level.  For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The Cary Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations conducted the criminal investigation of this case.  Assistant United States Attorney Melissa Belle Kessler handled the prosecution of this case for the United States.

Topic(s): 
Asset Forfeiture
Project Safe Childhood
Updated August 31, 2018