A man who used a child modeling website to push child pornography has been sentenced to nine years in prison, federal authorities said today.
Jeffrey Robert Libman, 43, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, vice president and co-director of Webe Web Corporation, a Florida company, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Alabama on Sept. 15, 2010, to 16 counts of transporting child pornography. Libman was also sentenced to lifetime supervised release, to follow his prison term.
According to court documents, Webe Web was the registered owner of the website www.childsupermodels.com, which purported to be a child modeling website that promoted models ages 7 to 16 and their photographers.
The website contained hyperlinks to websites containing photographs of individual child super models featuring minor female children in various poses and wardrobes. According to court documents, Libman was responsible for building and maintaining these websites.
Libman admitted that the websites pertaining to 16 different children contained illegal images of child pornography. In some of the photos, the victims, all girls ages 8 to 15, were wearing underwear, lingerie, bathing suits and other revealing outfits, and were posed in positions that constituted child pornography, authorities said.
According to court documents, viewers of the websites could preview a certain number of images for free on the website homepage. If viewers wanted to join the website to access additional photographs, they could purchase a 30-day membership for approximately $30 per month.
Libman admitted that the websites depicting the 16 victims generated approximately $1 million in revenue, federal authorities said.
Libman also admitted that Webe Web promoted subscriptions to these individual sites through its free advertising website known as Babble Club.
On the Babble Club's website, members could receive a free sample of images of the children. According to court documents, the website encouraged the purchase of subscriptions to the individual websites of the children, and hosted discussion boards and groups which were devoted to each individual website. Babble Club members made postings to the discussion boards, which included comments on specific images they liked, the type of clothing and poses they liked, and poetry written to the photographed child. Certain members posted expressions of fondness and devotion for a photographed child, federal authorities said.
In April 2010, Webe Web pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography and 16 counts of transporting child pornography. The president and co-director of Webe Web, Marc Evan Greenberg, also pleaded guilty in April 2010 to one count of money laundering based on his processing of the proceeds generated by Webe Web through its distribution of images of child pornography. Greenberg is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 14, 2011. According to its plea agreement, Webe Web will forfeit $1 million and 19 internet domain names.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The Document and Media Exploitation Branch of the National Drug Intelligence Center provided assistance in ascertaining the revenue flow of this criminal enterprise to support analysis of and to identify the ill gotten gains of the defendants, authorities said.
According to Enough Is Enough, the online site dedicated to combating illegal pornography and sexual exploitation, worldwide pornography revenue in 2006 was $97.06 billion, with approximately $13 billion made in the United States.
Child pornography is one of the fastest growing businesses online. In 2008, Internet Watch Foundation found 1,536 individual child abuse domains, with 58 percent housed in the U.S.