The Chief Executive Officer Backpage.com, which authorities have dubbed an "online brothel," is pleading guilty to California money-laundering charges and agreeing to cooperate in prosecuting the site's creators.
Carl Ferrer will serve no more than five years in state prison under the plea agreement announced Thursday.
He's pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of money laundering. He's also agreeing to cooperate in the prosecution of two controlling shareholders of the website, Michael Lacey and James Larkin.
The case against Lacey and Larkin continues in Sacramento County Superior Court.
The founders were among those indicted this month by a federal grand jury in Arizona.
The U.S. Justice Department shut down the site last week.