Hyer is the second Backpage employee to plead guilty.
Backpage was seized by the US government earlier this year after years of sketchy business by the website. As most members of the public know, Backpage was a digital marketplace that functioned similarly to Craiglist. Somehow, Backpage became known for soliciting prostitution above all else that was being sold on the site. It built up a reputation for being the go-to site to score some illegal sexual action, and investigators were able to prove that Backpage executives were allowing the sex trade. In fact, Backpage employees were making it easier for users to sell sex, helping them mold ads that fit within the grey area between selling sex and suggesting intimacy.
According to Jacques Billeaud of the Associated Press, Dan Hyer, the sales and marketing director of Backpage, pled guilty on Friday to conspiring to facilitate prostitution. Hyer admitted that he offered prostitutes a deal where they could post ads for free, in an effort to lure the sex workers off of competitor sites. He is the second Backpage employee to plead guilty in the state of Arizona. Since 2004, Backpage has earned over $500 million in prostitution-related schemes. The creators of Backpage, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, along with four other executives are facing charges that range from money laundering to prostitution.