A cameraman for the adult websites GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys has admitted to lying and coercing young models to appear in sex videos, which were then distributed online without their knowledge or consent.
Theodore ‘Teddy’ Gyi, 42, on Thursday pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on April 9.
According to a statement from the US Department of Justice, Gyi worked from 2015-2017 for the two pornography websites, which were operated by co-defendants Michael Pratt and Matthew Wolfe.
Pratt remains on the run and is on FBI‘s Most Wanted list. The agency is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Theodore ‘Teddy’ Gyi, 42, a cameraman for the adult website GirlsDoPorn, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion
As part of his plea deal, Gyi admitted that at the start of his employment he was instructed by Wolfe that, if any of the young female models asked, he should tell them that the sex videos he was shooting would not be posted on the internet.
Gyi told federal investigators that over the course of his employment, he learned that Wolfe and Pratt were posting many of the X-rated videos that he filmed on GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys, where they were available to anyone willing to pay for access.
‘Nonetheless, Gyi continued to lie and personally assured the young women he filmed that the videos would not be posted publicly,’ according to federal officials.
To help convince the models that the sex videos would not be posted on the internet, Gyi told some that he believed online pornography was ‘cheap.’
Gyi also admitted that he was aware that Pratt, Wolfe, co-defendant Ruben Garcia, and other associates were lying to the women that if they agreed to appear in a video, it would not be posted on the internet.
Gyi said that he filmed about 120 videos for GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys.
‘There is a high price to be paid by those who fraudulently exploit young women and forever alter their lives for profit,’ said US Attorney Robert Brewer. ‘Our prosecutors will leave no stone unturned in our effort to stop the tragedy of human trafficking and bring justice and restorative resources to its victims.’
Last month, Garcia, an adult film actor, pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, and one count of conspiracy to sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion.
The site was operated by Michael Pratt (left) and Matthew Wolfe (right). Pratt, from New Zealand, remains on the run and is on FBI’s Most Wanted list
According to the FBI, between 2012 and 2019, Pratt and his co-conspirators allegedly recruited young women from around the US by posting advertisements for clothed modeling jobs on the internet.
Women who answered the ads were told that the jobs were, in fact, sex videos, and that they would be paid between $3,000-$5,000 for a one-day shoot. The models were promised anonymity and were told that the videos would be provided to private collectors on DVD, not posted online.
Pratt allegedly paid other young women working for him to act as references or provide false assurances to the women that, if they filmed a video, the video would not be distributed on the internet.
‘Some women were not permitted to leave the shooting locations until the videos were made and others were allegedly forced to perform certain sex acts they had declined to do. Allegedly, some of the women were sexually assaulted,’ according to the FBI.
Pratt’s pornography websites generated more than $17million in revenue.
Porn Actor Ruben Andre Garcia, 31, in December pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, and one count of conspiracy to sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion
In October 2019, federal agents raided GirlsDoPorn’s offices in San Diego, seizing documents and material evidence against Wolfe and Pratt.
A day after the search, Wolfe, Pratt and two staffers, including Garcia, were charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion.
Pratt, a native of New Zealand, went on the run in June 2019. Wolfe, GirlsDoPorn’s chief videogrpaher, has been in jail from the time of his arrest in the fall of 2019.
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic last spring, he filed a motion seeking to be released on bail, citing his mild sleep apnea a risk factor for contracting COVID-19 behind bars, as Vice first reported.
In late April, federal prosecutors filed their response opposing Wolfe’s request, in which they argued that as a citizen of New Zealand with in-depth knowledge of cryptocurrency and a suspected access to hundreds of thousands of dollars, he is a flight risk, and that if freed, he would ‘obstruct justice and intimidate prospective witnesses…’
According to the filing, FBI agents found a chart inside the office listing countries that do not extradite people to the US.
‘The chart indicates whether each country had on-line banking and whether citizens of New Zealand, like [Wolfe], could obtain a visa,’ the document stated.
According to the prosecution, if Wolfe were to flee to his native New Zealand, where his fiance and her children stayed for an extended visit last winter, ‘it would take years to extradite him back to the US.’
During the raid in October 2019, federal agents also found evidence of efforts to harass and intimidate the victims of GirlsDoPorn and their lawyers.
One item was a video scripted titled, ’22 Wh***s + 5 Shady Lawyers VS GirlsDoPorn,’ with the subheading, ‘Share and spread this video as far and wide as possible.’
A search of the office also yielded a phone list with the victims’ names and numbers, revealing a campaign to extract information from them by posing as a journalist.
On the back of the list was a handwritten script for impersonating a reporter, which read, ‘Hi My name is [******}, I’m a journalist from LA. I’m calling in regard to the girlsdoporn case. I’ve heard your [sic] related to the case & curious to get a comment if you have the spare time.’
A year ago, a judge found Wolfe and Pratt liable for fraud and breach of contract for lying to women about how their explicit videos would be distributed, and ordered them to pay just under $13million in damages to 22 victims.