FTC: Austintown man operated ‘revenge porn’ website

File photo

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – An Austintown man has reached a settlement in a case, charging him with operating a “revenge porn” website.

Aniello “Neil” Infante was accused of being part of a business that posted sexually-explicit photos online of people without their consent.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, EMP Media, Inc. operated the website MyEx.com. The website is accused of soliciting nude photographs of exes without their knowledge. The website also collected personal information like their name, address and employer, according to a complaint filed in federal court on Tuesday.

Infante filed articles of incorporation for EMP Media and served as president of the company, according to court documents.

He, along with Shad “John” Applegate, were charged after an investigation into MyEx.com. The documents say Applegate registered the website using his email address.

The documents say in numerous instances, the defendants charged victims fees to remove their images and information from the site.

“MyEx.com uses reprehensible tactics to profit off of the intimate details of individuals’ private lives,” said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. “People who were featured on this site suffered real harm, including the loss of money they paid to remove intimate images and personal information, loss of jobs, and being subject to threats and harassment.”

As of December 2017, there were approximately 12,620 entries on the site, according to the complaint.

The FTC and state of Nevada approved a proposed settlement with Infante.

As part of the settlement, Infante is required to destroy the images and personal information in his possession and he is banned from posting such images without consent. He agreed to a $205,000 judgment, which the order will suspend upon payment of $15,000 in light of his inability to pay more, according to court records.

The payment received will be given to those who paid take-down fees to the company.