Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Queens-Based Operator of 18 Chinese Language Child Pornography Websites
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 22, 2011|
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and JANICE K. FEDARCYK, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the filing of an indictment charging YONG WANG for operating at least 18 Chinese language websites containing child pornography out of his home in Flushing, New York. WANG, who has allegedly operated the websites since at least 2007, made hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling website “memberships” to individuals who paid to view, access, post, and download graphic images of child pornography. All of the websites were in Chinese and advertised to Chinese-speaking individuals in China, the United States, and elsewhere. WANG, 26, was arrested by the FBI at his residence in Queens on June 23, 2011.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA stated: “Yong Wang allegedly exploited the global reach of the Internet to develop an international customer base for child pornography. Purveyors of child pornography victimize the most innocent and vulnerable among us, potentially scarring them for life. As today’s Indictment demonstrates, we are committed to shutting down child pornography websites and working with our law enforcement partners across the globe to prosecute and punish those responsible.”
FBI Assistant Director in Charge JANICE K. FEDARCYK stated: “The charges against Mr. Wang stem from a nine-month undercover FBI operation, dedicated to protecting the most innocent members of our society–-children. The crimes alleged include operating 18 websites where ‘members’ could pay for child pornography. Mr. Wang not only profited from these websites, but he also created a system for its members to post innocent images, perpetuating the abuse of children.”
According to the indictment returned today in Manhattan federal court and a complaint filed on June 20, 2011:
On the child pornography websites, which WANG maintained and operated out of his apartment, members could access numerous links to an extensive child pornography collection that included images and videos of children exposing their genitals, engaging in sexually explicit conduct with adults, and in sadistic or masochistic depictions. To access the websites, individuals had to purchase a “VIP membership” or accumulate a certain number of points. WANG charged customers $25 for a quarterly membership or $100 for a lifetime membership.
Undercover FBI agents registered for a VIP membership with WANG and gained access to one of the websites, which was titled (in Chinese) “Empire of the Young and Innocent Fragrances.” On the website, users were directed to different forums with links that were titled with descriptive names, such as “Young Young Empire,” “Young Girl Beauty Photos Military Region,” “Young Boy Movie Zone,” and “Exclusive Quality Young Girl Photos Set.” After WANG’s arrest, the FBI identified 17 additional websites maintained and operated by WANG containing child pornography, all in Chinese. In conjunction with his arrest, the FBI also seized two servers in Texas through which the websites and the related online payment processes operated. The websites have been dismantled.
WANG is a permanent resident of the United States who was born in China. He is charged with one count of advertising in connection with the sexual exploitation of children (count one), one count of distributing child pornography (count two), and one count of reproducing child pornography for distribution (count three). On count one, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. On counts two and three, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count.
Mr. BHARARA praised the FBI in New York for its outstanding work in investigating this case. He also thanked the Chinese Ministry of Public Security for their extensive cooperation and assistance.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney ROSEMARY NIDIRY is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.