The Goldman Sachs PR Car Crash Continues....

Reply Sun 1 Apr, 2012 07:46 pm
Financiers and Sex Trafficking
Published: March 31, 2012

THE biggest forum for sex trafficking of under-age girls in the United States appears to be a Web site called Backpage.com.

This emporium for girls and women — some under age or forced into prostitution — is in turn owned by an opaque private company called Village Voice Media. Until now it has been unclear who the ultimate owners are.

That mystery is solved. The owners turn out to include private equity financiers, including Goldman Sachs with a 16 percent stake.

Goldman Sachs was mortified when I began inquiring last week about its stake in America’s leading Web site for prostitution ads. It began working frantically to unload its shares, and on Friday afternoon it called to say that it had just signed an agreement to sell its stake to management.

“We had no influence over operations,” Andrea Raphael, a Goldman Sachs spokeswoman, told me.

Reply Sun 1 Apr, 2012 08:01 pm
After my last column on this issue, 19 U.S. senators wrote the company, asking it to stop abetting traffickers.

Meanwhile 43 Senators and Congressmen, grateful to Nick Kirstoff for bringing the site to their attention, had answered ads on the website.
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Reply Sun 1 Apr, 2012 08:40 pm
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