Visa ‘Intended to Help’ Pornhub and Its Parent Company Monetize Child Porn, Judge Finds in Allowing Case to Move Forward

In a setback for Visa in a case alleging the payment processor is liable for the distribution of child pornography on Pornhub and other sites operated by parent company MindGeek, a federal judge ruled that it was reasonable to conclude that Visa knowingly facilitated the criminal activity.

On Friday, July 29, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney of the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California issued a decision in the Fleites v. MindGeek case, denying Visa’s motion to dismiss the claim it violated California’s Unfair Competition Law — which prohibits unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business acts and practices — by processing payments for child porn. (A copy of the decision is available at this link.)

In the ruling, Carney held that the plaintiff “adequately alleged” that Visa engaged in a criminal conspiracy with MindGeek to monetize child pornography. Specifically, he wrote, “Visa knew that MindGeek’s websites were teeming with monetized child porn”; that there was a “criminal agreement to financially benefit from child porn that can be inferred from [Visa’s] decision to continue to recognize MindGeek as a merchant despite allegedly knowing that MindGeek monetized a substantial amount of child porn”; and that “the court can comfortably infer that Visa intended to help MindGeek monetize child porn” by “knowingly provid[ing] the tool used to complete the crime.”

“When MindGeek decides to monetize child porn, and Visa decides to continue to allow its payment network to be used for that goal despite knowledge of MindGeek’s monetization of child porn, it is entirely foreseeable that victims of child porn like plaintiff will suffer the harms that plaintiff alleges,” Carney wrote.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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