Pop Goes The News — The Canadian company behind hacked dating site Ashley Madison was secretly running an escort website, according to a report.
The report claims Pernimus Limited, a Cyprus-based “legal entity” of Avid Life Media, signed a 10-year lease for the escorts.ca domain from Steeltown Marketing Inc. in Hamilton, Ont. — with the latter to receive 35 per cent of gross income.
Steeltown Marketing Inc. is linked to Carmine Lofaro, the registered owner of Artbravo Inc., which snapped up hundreds of .ca domains with the names of companies and celebrities.
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority has previously ruled Lofaro registered domains in bad faith.
A 2013 internal document obtained by Daily Dot shows how Avid Life Media hoped to use escorts.ca to funnel traffic to Ashley Madison, Cougar Life and Established Men “as an alternative to paying for an escort.”
Daily Dot reported that the RCMP declined to comment on the legality of Avid Life Media’s operation of an escort service.
Last month, authorities in New York raided the offices of male escort company rentboy.com and charged seven employees. Prosecutors said the company was involved in the “facilitation and promotion of prostitution offenses across state lines and international borders.”
The site, which included listings for more than 140 Canadian escorts, was shut down.