PHOENIX – James Larkin—controlling shareholder of Backpage.com—today criticized the FBI for “hurting [his] customer base,” and called the Bureau’s recent nationwide human-trafficking raid a “complete overreaction.”
Larkin—who gained control of Backpage after Village Voice Media separated their newspaper operations from the controversial classifieds website—said that the FBI is “clearly out to get him,” mostly because they are “jealous of Backpage’s $27 million-a-year profit” from its Adult Services alone.
Over the weekend, the FBI conducted a broad sex-trafficking crackdown that resulted in at least 150 arrests. More than 100 sexually exploited children were rescued by the raids. Upon being freed, many of the teenage prostitutes—some of whom were as young as 13—reportedly thanked FBI agents for “saving them from the sweaty terror of Backpage’s users.”
Larkin claims that the raid was designed more to attack him personally than to save child sex slaves. “I know my lavish lifestyle must seem seriously awesome to a broke-ass fed,” Larkin said in an angrily worded email sent to FBI headquarters this morning. “But don’t take your pathetic lives out on me or my completely-legitimate and deeply-moral customers.”
“You dicks arrested half my customers in your stupid, pointless ‘raid,’” Larkin claimed. “And the rest are too scared to keep using Backpage’s wonderful services. I’m gonna have to sell my fucking yacht.”
Backpage.com—which is dominated by its “Adult Services” section —has often been criticized for helping to facilitate the selling of child prostitution services. Since May 2011, there have been at least 50 documented cases of children being sold for sex through its classifieds. Backpage claims that is in ally of the anti-human trafficking movement, but according to a CNN investigative report, the website does nothing to check the age of women offering sexual services on its pages, many of whom may be working against their will.
“This is just one more example of the federal government poking around in its citizens’ bedrooms,” Larkin said. “Everyone likes sex. Even FBI agents, apparently—it’s obvious that each and every one of you have a ten-foot stick shoved up your ass.”