7 charged in Craigslist prostitution ring
NEW YORK - Seven people have been indicted on charges of running a 24-hour prostitution ring on Craigslist, New York's attorney general announced yesterday, the day after Craigslist's CEO filed a lawsuit to keep South Carolina's attorney general from pursuing criminal charges against the company.
Five of the seven New York residents were arrested yesterday on charges of corruption, conspiracy, and money laundering. They are scheduled to appear in state Supreme Court today in Queens, where authorities say the operation was based.
Authorities are searching for the two others.
Late Tuesday night, Craigslist chief executive Jim Buckmaster sued South Carolina's attorney general, saying the prosecutor's threat to file prostitution charges against the San Francisco company violates its executives' constitutional rights.
The complaint filed in federal court in South Carolina seeks a restraining order to prevent Attorney General Henry McMaster from filing any such charges and contends that McMaster's warnings violate the US Commerce Clause.
Last year, McMaster and attorneys general from dozens of other states entered into an agreement with Craigslist to improve the site's safeguards. But McMaster says he doesn't think Craigslist has done enough to keep ads for prostitution off the website.