BROOKLYN — Jeffrey Hurant, the former owner of Rentboy.com, is finalizing a plea agreement with federal prosecutors after his indictment for promoting prostitution, his attorney told the court this week.
Hurant attorney Michael Tremonte asked the court to schedule a plea hearing 10 days from now, on Aug. 29.
Tremonte did not reveal any details of the possible plea deal. Hurant and his company, Easy Rent Systems Inc., were indicted on three counts including promotion of prostitution and money laundering in August 2015. Both previously pleaded not guilty.
The plea comes a year after the August 2015 arrest of Hurant and six employees of Rentboy.com.
The site, which opened for business in 1997, carried disclaimers saying its advertisements for escorts were for companionship and not sexual services.
Prosecutors said that male escorts paid at least $59.95 per month and up to several hundred dollars to advertise on Rentboy.com, which generated more than $10 million from 2010 to 2015.
Before authorities shut the website and offices down, Rentboy. com garnered about 500,000 unique visitors each day, according to an indictment.
The indictment said that Hurant and staff charged advertisers up to about $300 per ad. Advertisers were encouraged to publish their penis size, build, indicate whether they had foreskin and whether they preferred to have safe sex or bareback sex.
Rentboy.com employees would monitor escorts' ads and reject suspicious ones that blatantly advertised sex, the indictment said. They would send emails back to users, saying: "If you describe a sex act to be performed in exchange for money, the authorities may use it as evidence in prosecuting you.”
The indictment also noted that Rentboy failed to verify ages of those who advertised on its site, especially in Asia since at least 2006.