The FBI says the fugitive that founded a California-based porn empire by coercing young women into filming sexually explicit videos has been captured in Spain.
Spanish National Police in Madrid on Wednesday arrested Michael James Pratt—who is on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list—three years after he fled federal sex-trafficking charges.
Pratt is charged in a 19-count indictment with sex trafficking, production of child pornography, sex trafficking of a minor, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in connection with the operation of the GirlsDoPorn adult website.
Pratt has been a fugitive since 2019 and was named to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List earlier this year.
Pratt, a New Zealand native, will be held in Spain pending extradition to San Diego to face charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking of a minor, production of child pornography and money laundering conspiracy.
Pratt, 40, founded the now-defunct GirlsDoPorn website in San Diego. In 2019, he and others were charged in San Diego with sex crimes after being targeted in a civil lawsuit by 22 women who claimed they were victimized by fraud and breach of contract.
The women said they were plied with alcohol and marijuana before being rushed through signing a contract, which they were not allowed to read. Some said they were sexually assaulted and held in hotel rooms unwillingly until adult filming had ended.
A judge found in favor of the women and handed down a $12.7 million judgment against Pratt, Matthew Isaac Wolfe and adult producer and performer Ruben Andre Garcia.
The other co-defendants also pleaded guilty. Garcia was sentenced to 20 years in prison and cameraman Theodore Gyi received a four-year sentence.
Valorie Moser, a former bookkeeper for GirlsDoPorn, also pleaded guilty last year.
Pratt was arrested by Spanish National Police on December 21, 2022, in Madrid, Spain, pursuant to an Interpol Red Notice. A Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action. Pratt is being held in Spain pending extradition.
“The capture of Michael Pratt is an example of how the FBI will pursue justice beyond U.S. borders—you can run but you can’t hide,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Stacey Moy of the FBI San Diego Field Office. “Thank you to our determined FBI San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and to our federal and international partners for their commitment to making sure that Michael Pratt is brought to justice.”
SAC Moy would like to thank the Spanish National Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for their coordination in the arrest of Michael Pratt, and the public for their assistance in this investigation.
Pratt was the 529th person to be placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, which was established in 1950. Additional information concerning Pratt and the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives can be found by visiting the FBI’s website at fbi.gov/topten.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Any additional victims of the alleged crime are encouraged to call the FBI National Threat Operations Center at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324)
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