U.S. Sentences Woman in $2 Million Child Porn Scam

A Florida woman was sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison for laundering cash for a sexually-exploitive enterprise operating “child modeling” websites.

Child AbuseThe Newstar Enterprise websites shared more than 4.6 million explicit images of minors, including prepubescents, as “child models”. The victims were often recruited from poor Moldovan, Ukrainian and other Eastern European families. (Photo: Ulrike Mai, Pixabay, License)The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said last week that Patrice Eileen Wilowski-Mevorah, 53, of Tampa, pleaded guilty on July 6 to laundering around US$2.3 million for the Newstar Enterprise company, whose for-profit websites (The Newstar Websites) sexually exploited minors under the guise of “child modeling”.

The plea deal also required forfeiture of $236,410.70.

Wilowski-Mevorah joined the Newstar Enterprise around 2009, creating payment-processing and bank accounts for a phony jewelry company. For 10 years she used the fake accounts to hide criminal proceeds of the websites, sending the money back to the heads of the Newstar Enterprise.

Federal authorities disrupted the operation in 2019, seizing the websites’ servers in Europe and the U.S.

The Newstar Enterprise websites shared more than 4.6 million explicit images of minors, including prepubescents, as “child models”.

The victims were often recruited from poor Moldovan, Ukrainian and other Eastern European families.

Some of the images and videos depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, wearing police and cheerleader costumes, thong underwear, transparent underwear, revealing swimsuits, pantyhose, and miniskirts.

The websites’ materials were available to preview for free, but the subscribers from 101 countries brought more than $9.4 million in profits over the course of the conspiracy.

In addition to Wilowski-Mevorah, the DOJ has charged five more defendants and intends to seek additional forfeitures totalling $9.4 million, representing alleged proceeds of the offenses and property located in Florida.