Backpage.com founders face 2020 trial in case over sex ads

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Former Backpage.com owners, James Larkin, left, and Michael Lacey wait on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, to appear before a Senate subcommittee. (Source: AP Photo/Cliff Owen) Former Backpage.com owners, James Larkin, left, and Michael Lacey wait on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, to appear before a Senate subcommittee. (Source: AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Classifieds website Backpage.com was seized and shut down by the FBI. (Source: Backapage.com) Classifieds website Backpage.com was seized and shut down by the FBI. (Source: Backapage.com)
PHOENIX (AP) -

A January 2020 trial has been set for the founders of the classified advertising site Backpage.com and five of the site’s employees in what federal authorities have described as a scheme to knowingly publish ads for sexual services and launder money earned for the ads.

[RELATED: Hearing set for jailed Backpage founder in case over sex ads]

Founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin and the five employees have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Backpage.com is accused of ignoring warnings to stop running advertisements promoting prostitution, sometimes involving children, because the site has brought in $500 million on prostitution-related revenues since its inception in 2004.

[READ MORE: Bail hearing set for jailed founder of Backpage.com]

[MORE: Backpage creators indicted on prostitution and money laundering charges]

Backpage.com is a Dutch-owned company incorporated in Delaware, but its principal place of business is in Dallas.

[RELATED: Backpage.com shut down by FBI]

Officials say Backpage.com keeps its bank accounts and servers in Arizona.

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