PHOENIX— Eric Craig (D.O.B. 10-04-1969) pled guilty to one count of Pandering and two counts of Money Laundering and was sentenced to 7.5 years in the Department of Corrections with five years of probation following his release. The case against the defendant showed that he ran a supposed “escort agency” where clients arranged “dates” with women Craig employed. Craig then took the money the women were paid for sexual acts.
“This defendant looked to profit by preying on vulnerable victims through the most insidious means, treating women as merely a means to his own selfish financial ends” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “This conviction could not have happened without victims being brave enough to speak out and the efforts of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners to hold prostitution profiteers fully accountable for their crimes.”
On November 7, 2016 one of the women working for the defendant reached out to police and alerted them to his illegal business practices. She told investigators Craig lured in potential workers by listing a desk job from what appeared to be a home office. When this victim went to interview for the job, she learned she was being recruited for prostitution and was told to preform sex acts with Craig.
The defendant would post online ads mostly using backpage.com and then set up “dates” where the women would meet clients and exchange sex acts for money. The women were required by Craig to follow strict rules, including trying to make more money by preforming additional sex acts and immediately paying Craig his portion of their earnings.
Records found by investigators showed that in one six-week period the defendant arranged more than 400 dates involving his victims. Records also showed that Craig tried to hide his illegal business by trying to make his earnings look like gambling winnings.