California Operators of MyRedbook.com Website Arrested for Facilitating Prostitution and Money Laundering
SAN FRANCISCO—Eric Omuro, of Mountain View, Calif., also known as “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, Calif., was also indicted and arrested today for use of the mail and the Internet to facilitate prostitution, announced U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, 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.
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 website hosted 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 website used acronyms for numerous sex acts, which were defined in graphic detail in the website’s “Terms and Acronyms” section. Although the website 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 Assistant United States Attorneys Elise Becker and Patricia Kenney of the Northern District of California, and Trial Attorney Keith Becker of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance to the prosecution.