Crime /

Pornhub Parent Company Admits to Profiting from Sex Trafficking

'This resolution will ... develop industry-wide standards for safety and compliance,' said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace

Pornhub Parent Company Admits to Profiting from Sex Trafficking

The company that owns Pornhub has agreed to pay a $1.8 million fine for profiting from videos filmed of people who had allegedly been sex trafficked.

Aylo Holdings admitted to making more than $864,000 from the videos. The Montreal-based company, formerly known as MindGeek, reached an agreement with the federal government on Dec. 21.

The company will have to submit to independent monitoring for three years and pay the female victims who appeared in the videos that were posted to the site without their consent. Who is eligible and how they can apply to receive compensation is not immediately clear.

“Motivated by profit, Aylo Holdings knowingly enriched itself by turning a blind eye to the concerns of victims who communicated to the company that they were deceived and coerced into participating in illicit sexual activity,” James Smith, the FBI assistant director in charge of the New York Field Office, said in a statement on Dec. 21. 

“Make no mistake, any entity that engages in sexual exploitation will be held to account for the mental anguish and terror imposed on victims,” he added. “I hope today’s proceedings bring a sense of justice to the victims in this case as they move forward in their lives.”   

Following an investigation, Aylo was determined to have accepted payment from GirlsDoPorn between 2017 and 2019. GirlsDoPorn’s operators were indicted by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of California of sex trafficking crimes in 2019 and subsequently convicted. The company has since shut down.

Aylo received multiple complaints about the videos, which they were asked to remove.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York:

The complainants told Aylo that they had been lied to and defrauded into making these videos and that the videos were posted on without their consent.  Although Aylo sought, and received, information from the GDP Operators that purported to establish that the complainants had given consent for their videos to be posted online, Aylo did not independently verify consent and did not remove all the videos that were requested to be taken down. Moreover, in August 2019, Aylo learned that a GDP videographer had testified during the civil trial that he falsely told women that their sex videos would not appear online so that they would agree to appear in the videos, and that such videos were posted on Despite the above, Aylo continued to host the GDP and GDT channels on its websites and accept money from its partnership with the GDP Operators.

The videos were ultimately removed in October of 2019. 

“This deferred prosecution agreement holds the parent company of accountable for its role in hosting videos and accepting payments from criminal actors who coerced young women into engaging in sexual acts on videos that were posted without their consent,” said United States Attorney Breon Peace.

“This Office is committed to ensuring internet safety and protecting people from online sexual exploitation," continued Peace. "This resolution will not only provide oversight over one of the largest online content distributors in the world and ensure the company’s lawful behavior, but it will also develop industry-wide standards for safety and compliance.”

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