A website, owned by a Broward man, that allowed customers to rent, review and message prostitutes has been seized by authorities.
On Friday, the Oct. 4 seizure of independentgirls.com, an internet forum for escort services and prostitution, was announced by the Southern District of Florida’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI and Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
The purpose of independentgirls.com was to allow escort agencies and independent escorts to post advertisements for prostitution and create a forum for customers to post reviews of prostitutes for others to read, authorities said.
“I commend BSO detectives and our federals partners who, through this significant arrest and seizure of this website, have made a large impact on the human trafficking activities in South Florida,” said Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony.
The website allowed customers paying for sex to buy upgraded accounts where they would be able to read and write prostitute reviews, send private messages to prostitutes and view which prostitutes were currently available.
Upgraded account users would get discounted hourly rates, invitations to parties hosted by independentgirls.com and access to message forums discussing recent police action.
“The FBI will not tolerate sex trafficking regardless if it is arranged in person or over the Internet,” said George L. Piro, the special agent who heads the FBI’s Miami Field Office.
Some of the women advertised for escort and prostitution services were minors, authorities said.
“Our goal, as a law enforcement community, is to ensure that websites that facilitate human trafficking and child exploitation cease to exist and that the traffickers are held accountable in a court of law for their criminal exploits,” stated U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan.
The owner of the website, Neil Steven Greenberg of Sunrise, was arrested in April and is facing two counts of production of child pornography.
While searching his home, authorities said they found videos of Greenberg engaging in illicit sex acts with two minors.