by Photo courtesy of the FBI

The founder of San Diego-based website who is facing federal sex trafficking charges was arrested this week in Spain after being on the run for three years, the FBI announced today. 

Michael James Pratt, 40, was arrested Wednesday by Spanish National Police in Madrid, according to a statement from the FBI. Pratt will be held there pending extradition to San Diego. The New Zealand native is charged in a 19-count indictment for allegedly running the now-defunct website. 

The charges pratt faces include sex trafficking, production of child pornography, sex trafficking of a minor, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. Prosecutors allege he and other  GirlsDoPorn employees coerced hundreds of women to appear in pornographic videos under false pretenses, with most of the videos filmed in San Diego.

Federal authorities placed Pratt on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List earlier this year.
“The capture of Michael Pratt is an example of how the FBI will pursue justice beyond U.S. borders — you can run but you can't hide,'' said Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy of the FBI San Diego Field Office. “Thank you to our determined FBI San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and to our federal and international partners for their commitment to making sure that Michael Pratt is brought to justice.''

Pratt and his co-defendants allegedly paid other women to pose as “reference women'' to falsely assure the victims that their videos would not be uploaded to the internet.

If the women ever changed their minds about filming or completing the scenes, the defendants threatened to sue them, cancel their flights home or post footage that had already been filmed online, federal prosecutors said.

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