FTC, State of Nevada File Charges Against MyEx.com Operators

FTC, State of Nevada File Charges Against MyEx.com Operators
Rhett Pardon

CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Federal Trade Commission and the state of Nevada today charged the operators of MyEx.com, a so-called revenge porn site, with violating federal and state law by posting intimate images of people, together with their personal information, without their consent.

MyEx.com, which at post time continued to operate, relied on mostly adult-oriented advertising for revenue.

The complaint named EMP Media Inc., Aniello “Neil” Infante, Shad “John” Applegate, also known as Shad Cottelli, and one or more unknown parties doing business as Yeicox Ltd.  

EMP Media, in addition to MyEx.com, also operates T&A Media and Internet Secrets.

The FTC alleged that the defendants’ practices constitute unfair acts or deceptive practices in violation of the FTC Act. In addition, Nevada alleged that the defendants’ conduct constitutes a deceptive trade practice under Nevada law.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, operators of MyEx.com solicited for intimate pictures and videos of victims, together with their personal information such as their name, address, employer and social media account information.

“The site urged visitors to ‘Add Your Ex,’ and to ‘Submit Pics and Stories of Your Ex,’” FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen said in a statement released today. “In numerous instances, the defendants allegedly charged victims fees from $499 to $2,800 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,” Ohlhausen said. “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.”

According to the complaint, visitors to MyEx.com can rate the videos and pictures they see and post comments about the victims.

The FTC alleged that the defendants were aware that many of the individuals did not agree to having their intimate images and personal information posted to MyEx.com. As of December, there were approximately 12,620 entries on the site, according to the complaint.

One of the defendants, Infante, has agreed to a permanent ban on posting intimate images without consent. Infante served in various corporate roles, including president of EMP Media.

Under the settlement, Infante is banned from posting intimate images and personal information of others on a website without notice and consent, required to destroy all such intimate images and personal information in his possession and banned from charging individuals fees for removing such content from a website.

Infante also agreed to a $205,000 judgment, which the order will suspend upon payment of $15,000 in light of his inability to pay more. The payment received will be used to provide redress to individuals who paid him take-down fees.

 

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