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Thursday, September 25, 2014

MyRedbook: Government Waits for Data From Escort Site's Computer Servers

Posted By on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 2:24 PM

click to enlarge redbook.jpg
The case against the accused operators of Bay Area-based escort advertising website MyRedbook remained stalled today as the government awaits for data stored on Canadian servers to be turned over. 

At a status hearing today in U.S. District Court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elise Becker said the government is already in possession of 9,000 pages of discovery and a hard drive that contains two terabytes of electronic evidence in the case. However, it still has not received additional data that it believes to be stored on MyRedbook's servers, located in Canada, and is attempting to restore a CD that contains screen captures of MyRedbook over time.

MyRedbook was shut down by the FBI in June following a raid on a home in Mountain View, where agents seized computers and other records. The site hosted advertisements from escorts and masseuses from around the Bay Area and Los Angeles, as well as Nevada, Oregon, and Washington and was in operation since at least 2002, according to the Internet Archive. MyRedbook did not charge a fee for users to post their ads, which made it popular and distinguished it from other, similar sites. 

In August, Judge William H. Orrick approved a protective order that suggested the materials taken from the Mountain View home may contain child pornography.

"The United States is in possession of computer media, materials, and other records that it alleges contain personal identifier information relating to the defendants and a very large number of witnesses, some of whom are minors, as well as images of a sexual nature," the order reads. "Any property or material that constitutes child pornography shall remain in the care, custody, and control of either the government or the court."

However, the defendants are note currently facing any charges related to child pornography. Eric Omuro, 53, and Annmarie Lanoce, 40, are charged with interstate travel in the aid of a racketeering enterprise. Lanoce pleaded not guilty in June and was released on a $250,000 bond. Omuro is charged with an additional 24 counts of money laundering and has pleaded not guilty. 

Lanoce will appear in court again on Oct. 16 to submit a change of plea. Her attorney, Geoffrey Hansen, declined to comment on his client's change of plea. Omuro is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 6, at which time Becker said she hoped the government would have access to the information stored on the Canadian servers and the CD. 

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Kate Conger

Kate Conger has written for SF Weekly since 2011.

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