BUSTED

BREAKING: RentBoy CEO And Six Others Arrested In Prostitution Ring Bust

Authorities removing boxes of files from RentBoy.com’s headquarters in Manhattan on August 25.

Uh-oh! Someone’s in serious trouble with the law.

50-year-old Jeffrey Hurant, the CEO of the gay male escort site RentBoy.com, and six of his employees were just arrested during a sting operation in Manhattan earlier today, reports CBS News.

Related: The Surprising Results In A New Study On Male Escorts

The raid, which was conducted by Homeland Security with help from the NYPD, happened at the company’s headquarters on West 14th Street this morning. Not much is known at this point other than Hurant and his crew were taken into custody on suspicion of promoting interstate prostitution and money laundering. The company’s bank accounts containing millions of dollars have been frozen. Boxes of files and computers were also seized during the raid.

RentBoy.com first launched in 1996 and bills itself as “the original and world’s largest male escort site,” with roughly 10,500 members in over 2,100 cities worldwide. According to authorities, the site has been secretly operating as a male prostitution ring, allowing Johns to directly contact men to pay for sex. They are labeling Hurant a “cyber pimp.”

The story is still developing. We’ll keep you posted with updates.

Related: Don’t Get It Twisted, These Male Sex Workers Love Their Jobs And Make Serious Dough

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134 Comments

  • Keith F Vario

    wonder if RentBoy was a clue

  • Magid Harbison

    No surprise there. Kind of assumed this.

  • Les White Pigeon

    That’s crazed! Smdh what are folks thinking? Maybe the almighty dollar…

  • Paul Whitten

    Girls gotta make a living!!!

  • Jaden Birns

    Isn’t it an escort service? I assume they hire guys for sex right? Or am I missing something?

  • Clark35

    Not surprising they run a website for male whores.

  • Sand Nierenberg

    It’s been on internet forever everyone knows it’s gay male escorts don’t get it everyone knows is this a surprise to people lol shocker make escorts nothing new

  • Kevin Cato

    What gave them away?

  • James Robinson

    Um, Duh. You can’t name your “male” “gay” escort service RentBoy and not expect to be scrutinized :P

  • jwtraveler

    It’s taken the NYPD 19 years to discover that Rentboy.com is a male prostitution organization?! I don’t think it was much of a secret. Good work NYPD!
    Why Homeland Security? Do they think that rent boys are Islamic terrorists?

  • tricky ricky

    I am shocked, shocked I tell ya!

  • Stache99

    It’s insane that prostitution is illegal. Buying and selling sex covers allot of areas including allot of marriages. We glorify show’s like the Housewives of Beverly hills, etc. However this is more about the money laundering IMO and the prostitution is just a pretext.

  • tricky ricky

    @jwtraveler: NYPD was busy profiling various groups before.

  • Stache99

    @jwtraveler: They gotta do something with their inflated budget. Show everyone that their doing their jobs protecting America from the evils of gay sex.

  • Ricky Wright

    its about time they shut down

  • Andrew Steven Kent

    Lol….while they’re busy with this there are actual issues like gangs, rape, and child trafficking going on. GJ. You got some 18+ guys trying to make a living.

  • Giancarlo85

    @Stache99: Funny how they go after this site and not the white collar criminal assholes in Wall Street.

  • notevenwrong

    So “Homeland Security” doesn’t have enough work so it has to busy itself doing vice prosecutions? Am I the only one who thinks this is an abuse of what their mission was sold to us as?

  • queerT

    WTF does this have to do with Homeland Security?! Welcome to the police state.

  • ptseti

    Umm sorry but did somene piss someone off? I mean male prostitution? Thats kind of stretching a fact. Exchange for Services is more apt but prostitution? Seriously?

  • redcarpet30

    “secretly operating as a male prostitution ring” Give me a fucking break!

    For 19 years, along with having a very public awards ceremony for prostitutes.

    Should have kept their site and offices hosted outside the country.

  • Esteban1971

    Wow! Absolutely NO reference whatsoever to the CEO’s political party! Must be a Democrat.

  • SpunkyBunks

    They either “forgot” to pay off a politician, or they “forgot” to pay their taxes. Uncle Sam will turn a blind eye if you fill his pockets. Look at our bogus war on drugs.

  • Billy Budd

    Prostitution MUST be legalized and taxes should be paid for the activity. Prostitution is a good thing. There is nothing wrong about it. It has always existed and always will.

  • moldisdelicious

    Welcome to the real world. Only in the gay community have folks tried to act like prostitution is legal when it’s not. Smh. Surprised they didn’t get locked up and charged sooner. Rentboy.com is basically a prostitute ring in the legal terms.

  • azianboy

    Wow.. I didn’t know this kind of business isn’t allowed? I checkout both RentBoy and RentMen regularly. After all these years? And why’s RentMen com still out there?

  • Louis Goodrich

    Now where am I going to get twinks? >.<

  • David Bolton

    I can’t wait until the client lists start getting released and the entire operation is suddenly shut down.

  • tdh1980

    We are in the last months of 2015. Why is prostitution still illegal in this country? Make it a regulated industry like everything else so that we can move on to actual crimes that render real victims.

  • mikelphx

    The company name is a dead give away.

  • Goforit

    Gee, I thought that any money that changed hands was for time only. Any sexual activity was simply between consenting adults. Not that I would know.

  • EvonCook

    Have been trying to point out that this is no legitimate activity for Homeland Security! (But this site says I am posting too many comments and too fast?? WTF?? First one of the day?? Why are these government forces not concentrating on and worrying about terrorism and security issues and instead of what is going on in people’s sex lives and bedrooms??? Too much money given to the police/military under the guise of foreign threats which enable them to spy on Americans in their own homes and bedrooms and to try to control our lives.

  • Cam

    “” According to authorities, the site has been secretly operating as a male prostitution ring, allowing Johns to directly contact men to pay for sex.””

    ____________________________

    Is this story from “The Onion”? How can something called “Rentboy.com be “Secretly” operating as a prostitution ring? LOL

    It may as well have called itself “Prostitution Ring dot com” LOL

  • drivendervish

    What do they mean by “secret”? So does this mean the FBI is still in the dark about Rentboy? It is ridiculous that federal resources are being spent on enforcing outdated prostitution laws when Bush and Cheney remain free and should be prosecuted for war crimes for invading IRAQ to avenge a failed assassination attempt on George’s dad, killing millions of innocents and putting this country in such deep debt that when wall street bankers got too greedy they brought down the largest economy in the world.

  • DDstar1me

    Homeland security. Really? This is what your wasting the tax payers money on? Sex for cash is not a new concept. It’s been happening since the bible days. No one is impressed that you guys finally caught a whore house after 19 years. I mean come on NYPD. Now your all just phoning it in. LOL! I can’t.

    I’m sure many a gay men on this very site have used Rentboy. Some of y’all need to stop ackin like you don’t know what RentBoy is. Your not fooling anyone.

  • jwtraveler

    The fallout from the Ashley Madison hack will seem like a summer drizzle compared to the hurricane that will be released if Rentboy’s client list becomes public. The exposure of thousands of hypocrites will almost make it worthwhile. Maybe not “almost”.

  • William Thomas Bramlett II

    Well the name says it, rent boy..what did they think, rent some one to help u move!?

  • DDstar1me

    Just make Prostitution legal. It’s not a secret. lol. Just ask the GOP. They can tell you of all the best one’s….LMAO. Ok I’m done!

  • Regg Valencia

    There goes the Amazon wish lists.

  • Ladbrook

    The crazy part is that prostitution is still illegal (outside of Nevada). As someone else said, no one in govt is the least bit interested in ending prostitution. Human trafficking, yes… but consenting participants, no way. That CEO has royally pissed off someone: a tax-collector, a party boss, the mayor… someone! He should have written a bigger check.

  • Shaun Mooney

    What will you do now Calvin Stowell

  • Avery Alvarez

    I was reading an article the other day on Huff Post talking about Rentboy and how it’s putting a lot of young men through college.
    I guess that’t no more.

  • Mark

    About freaking time…?

  • Xzamilio

    I mean aside from the fact that a few gay porn stars were acting like they were the Meryl Streeps of prostitution, I see nothing wrong with the victimless “crime” of paying for sex.

  • Matt Hinz

    Could someone explain the difference between this and getting paid to do porn?

  • wagnerwallace

    @Xzamilio: LMFAO! “Meryl Streeps of prostitution” hahahaha this is the funniest thing I’ve heard all week – thank you lol

  • wagnerwallace

    #LOVEWINS

  • Avery Alvarez

    @Xzamilio: “a few gay porn stars were acting like they were the Meryl Streeps of prostitution”

    Lol. True.

  • KM201

    It’s a shame congress didn’t shut down Homeland Security in March when they had the chance to. Now that their budget is up again next month, we should rally our elected officials to let it shut down the agency for good. If this is what their priorities are (targeting our community for political extortion), then they should not be allowed to continue their operations. Prostitution should be legalized as it harms no one and serves as a tax revenue agency. Homeland Security is a $36 billion a year waste and needs to go. Hope we get organized soon. We’ll have our opportunity to strike if we take it in the fall. ;)

  • Giancarlo85

    @drivendervish: Many of the same criminals still remain in the republican party too. They are trying to divert resources from their own nefarious criminal activities and focus it on a gay website lol.

  • Keith Lessner

    I’m shocked….I thought it helped guys find an apartment.

  • wagnerwallace

    @Esteban1971: It has to be a Democrat lol… If a Republican were involved it would splashed all over the web

  • DDstar1me

    @Xzamilio…..LMAO..I can’t stop lol…Jesus that shit was funny.

  • Chris Parkerson

    Well, when are they gonna go after every whore in this particular house? It’s the biggest whorehouse on the planet! :P

  • Walter Delmar

    No one can hide from the IRS.

  • BGinBigD

    OMG!!!! You mean a gay sexually oriented business using the name “RentBoy” has been accused of prostitution???????? Oh my, what is the world coming to? Homeland Security MUST have a vendetta against “the gays”!!!!!!
    Really???? What took ’em so long! They could probably investigate every gay porn site, studio, etc. and find plenty of prostitution.

  • pjm1

    What’s gonna happen to Rent Boys IPO now?

    Perhaps after the Ashley Madison breach a bunch of elected
    officials wanted Rent Boy shut down before a hack made all the
    clients public. Imagine all the politicians and others in the Rent Boy
    database.

    Rentboy should probably been operating (primarily) out of a country
    that does not care as much as . . . some in the U.S. It’s going to be a legal
    war — and from that perspective will be interesting. Will the government be
    calling witnesses? Does Ashley Madison violate the law by encouraging marriage
    infidelity? Is Ashley Madison laundering money? Have heterosexual sites been
    treated the same way as Rent Boy is being treated or is DHS and NYPD targeting
    gay men the same we were targets in the 1960s?

  • Shofixti

    Why the “Uh-oh” line? This is an attack against the right of men to choose sex work.
    Time to decriminalise.

  • money718

    This sucks. I use to love their booth at the porn expo.

  • Conny Kawakubo

    The law’s the law hunties.

  • rss1021

    Operating since 1996 and no problems and now 2015 this? something is not right!

    Escort services should be legal- 2 consenting adults agreeing to have sex and services, no harm to no one
    sex= pleasure

    since 1996 and now this? Take it to the courts! Mr CEO

  • rss1021

    the land of the free?

  • rss1021

    @pjm1: Interesting ! CEO should take it to the courts

  • pjm1

    @rss1021: I have no doubt this is
    going to be a legal war. Hopefully, the Rentboy folks have enough cash
    to hire a world class legal team and fight the government every inch. I don’t
    know all the facts of the world of online advertising and/or what evidence the
    feds put together. BUT rentboy hopefully will make, among its claims, selective
    prosecution. Additionally, any company that operates near the margins should
    keep very large retainers with their law firms b/c it would be difficult to seize that
    money. For example, marijuana growers would be wise to keep $1 million (or more)
    retainer with their lawyers so if the growers cash is seized the lawyer retainer
    very likely will go untouched and mount a massive legal defense.

  • UWSguy

    According to NBC NY News here’s why Homeland Security was involved:

    The Department of Homeland Security was involved in the raid in part because the investigation involves transferring money across state lines.

    “The facilitation and promotion of prostitution offenses across state lines and international borders is a federal crime made even more egregious when it’s blatantly advertised by a global criminal enterprise,” Glenn Sorge, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York, said in a statement.

  • pjm1

    @UWSguy: Well, the Rentboy folks
    should be charged the same way Governor Spitzer of New York was charged.
    I forget, wasn’t Spitzer once the attorney general of New York? What charges
    were files against Spitzer? anser: none.

  • Professor Fate

    I’m stunned, STUNNED!

  • nmharleyrider

    Not really much different than Ashley Madison, the site to find an affair on.

  • D P

    Dear Queerty staff:

    Yes, I loved this article, and many others just like it. In fact, I love this site, and come here regularly to read up about events viewed through the gay perspective, just like this article about RentBoy being raided. Let me even go so far as to say that this is one of the first sites (if not the only site) which I go to to read about community-related issues. What I *hate* is facebook (enough so that I won’t capitalize their name), and no, I won’t ‘like’ your page there. So please, stop asking?

    And to you guys who are critical of Queerty, get a life! I don’t want to hear your rants. If you think you can do better, start your own site. Queerty rocks!

  • Realitycheck

    The federal government really needs to get their priorities straight,
    plenty of real criminals out there, just make sure the “boys” pay their taxes. LOL

  • Beptep

    So much for the separation of church and state. Prostitution is a great business: you got it, you sell it, you still got it.

  • Josh447

    Trust me. This is nothing more than a direct onslaught by the religious right wing fear mongers who hate the fact we just legalize gay marriage. They are steaming they are screaming and they’ll do anything they can to screw up life as we know it. However, have faith. We will prevail on every front eventually.

  • adrianjurado310

    I am actually a fan of the site and want to see it legally fixed in courts so that it can remain a platform where escorts can offer their services legally to the open public as market merchants.

  • Daniel-Reader

    So all the sites where “Christians” “date” are going to be shutdown next, right? Since the sites encourage the exchange of goods and services (time, dinner, movie tickets, etc.) for sex, which is the same thing, right? And all the churches have to be shutdown because they are just money laundering schemes, right?

  • Brian

    These are not gay-identifying male escorts. Most of the escorts are straight-identifying guys who get paid for services rendered to men.

    Prostitution is not a decent trade. It’s tacky, sleazy and often associated with drug use.

  • Simon Aguilar

    Why couldn’t the guy walking down the stairs in front be a rent boy

  • Glücklich

    @Brian:

    “It’s tacky, sleazy and often associated with drug use.”

    So’s Hollywood. What’s your point?

  • stanhope

    With all of the shootings on interstates and in movie theaters this is how the police spend their time. HOMELAND SECURITY? LOL LOL I don’t need to be secured from a bunch of bottoms.

  • Billy Budd

    @Brian: Prostitution is a noble profession. It just makes people happy, It is an altruistic profession. Rent boys are heroes.

  • laurent7465

    Gosh, with a city as bit as NYC, I’m surprised they don’t have any STR8 female escort services. How strange.

  • Kangol

    @Giancarlo85: Exactly!

    The criminals on Wall Street walk free, domestic terrorists who have posted about their deadly, hateful beliefs online are able to shoot up churches and movie theaters, yet Homeland Security is focused on a male escort site? A MALE ESCORT SITE?

    WHO CARES IF THESE GUYS ARE PAYING FOR SEX!?? Homeland Security is supposed to be dealing with domestic and foreign terror threats!

    This makes absolutely no sense. WTF?

  • Kangol

    @laurent7465: Look at Craigslist or the back pages of the Village Voice. NYC has tons of female escorts and sex workers.

    Don’t think for a minute that straight men aren’t paying for sex when they aren’t getting it free via Ashley Madison, Tinder, etc.

  • Kangol

    @Conny Kawakubo: The law used to criminalize gay sex. Was that OK? No. This “law” is absurd.

    There are actual crimes occurring on a daily basis in NYC.

    Consensual sex work is not one of them.

  • Bob LaBlah

    This is from Reuters: “In a 2008 video interview quoted in the complaint, Hurant, who also went by Jeffrey Davids – and who tweeted under @thecyberpimp – said he launched Rentboy.com because he felt “escorts were a disenfranchised group.”

    Talk about asking for it. And to think I thought that drugged out ass who owned Studio One (the late Steve Rubell) would NEVER be topped as far as ignorance went but once again I have been proven wrong. Rubell went on television BRAGGING about the amount of cash he took in and didnt pay taxes on. He looked stoned out of his mind too when he did it.

    Look, people, when you KNOW damn well that what you are going isn’t exactly “right”, shall we say, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Don’t sit up and stir shit up by being nothing else but an arrogant ass. When you do, you get just what YOU asked for.

  • Bob LaBlah

    @laurent7465: Between me and you I bet any day now the “women” going topless in Times Square won’t be alone, if you get my drift. Only in NYC folks.

  • Josh447

    In NY this kind of “prostitution” is considered a misdemeanor. But the money laundering is where they could get these guys in serious trouble as that is considered a felony. They’ll most likely be fine is my guess, with the right attorneys. But doing business again could be difficult

  • Geoff B

    @jwtraveler: I’m just waiting to see if this is going to be the “Belmont Stakes” in the Josh Duggar Triple Crown.

  • jwtraveler

    @Billy Budd: I’m not against voluntary prostitution or Rentboy, but the fact is that lots of women and children are harmed by prostitution linked to sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. Even in places where prostitution is legal and regulated, exploitation and abuse persist.

  • jwtraveler

    @Matt Hinz: If you pay someone for sex and film it and sell it, then it’s a business, not pleasure. It’s like if you take someone out to dinner and try to sell him something, then it’s a business expense and you can deduct it from your taxes.

    That’s the best I can do.

  • jwtraveler

    @pjm1: Life imitates art, but as farce.

    @Geoff B: I doubt it, but I like the metaphor.

  • martinbakman

    @jwtraveler: Touche! Exactly! Perhaps that is the reason for this action against Rentboy. Too many big wheels would come off the wagon if Rentboy got hacked.

    Too bad more folks on here would put on their thinking cap before making comments.

  • moldisdelicious

    Are folks really trying to make this into a lgbt rights Or anti gay issue? Stop please.

    This has nothing to do with gay rights. In fact Rentboy.com actually has more of a negative impact towards gay people than positive. It’s basically marketed towards closeted people who don’t intend on coming out that were willing to pay for it.

    Rentboy.com is one of those sites which pretty much exploits the gay community for others personal gain. The site owner of that place is stupid too. Basically he was asling to be locked up.

  • pjm1

    @moldisdelicious: i suppose you were part of the
    crowd saying that the Stonewall inn gave gays a bad reputation and was for closeted queers
    so the best thing would be for it to have been shut down. Those pesky queers think they
    should have had a place to have a drink and dance. those closet queens.

    A two minute search will show DOZENS of hetero escort sites and lots of ladies. Were the hetero
    places shut down? Madison Ashley promotes out of wedlock sex — criminal in 21 states and a felony
    in 4 states. Has Ashley Madison been raided and charged with money laundering? Oh, its ok for
    heterosexuals to engage in illicit activity — they have rights.

    Or, is it time to show the queers what their place is. The queers shouldn’t get to uppity or
    they will get raided and thrown in prison, just like the good ole boy days.

  • Justin

    Only real difference between prostitution and porn is the camera.

    This is a complete waste of tax payers money.

  • D P

    @Glücklich: LOL! Good point!

  • Chris

    Ridiculous; don’t they have better things to do with their time?

  • Realitycheck

    @MarionPaige: No, because this is the USA and we have zero to do with the UK, and in western Europe it is not a crime to
    do drugs, in fact it is legal to have up to 2gr for personal use.
    In order to prove the escort is selling the drugs a bait would have to be set up, and for what? The escort will not carry even 2 gr and will claim personal use.
    Also european enforcement agents go after big drug sellers, they are not looking for local dealers, it is simply matter or properly using local resources.

  • Clark35

    @moldisdelicious: Exactly.

    @nmharleyrider: Heh I wonder what famous/infamous men used rentboy.com to find male prostitutes?

  • o.codone

    I doubt that there is a “client list” because the escorts are paid directly. If the customer is smart, with cash. So, there is no paper trail. But I wonder if they are going after the escorts themselves. That could be a sh*itstorm.

    And why are the servers sitting in downtown Manhattan? They should have kept them in the bathroom closet in Colorado right nest to Hillary’s. There is no reason to have any evidence to seize.

    In a country where the “doctors” cut the faces off of unborn babies and then kill them, and it’s legal, are we really getting moral lessons about prostitution from DHS and the NYPD? Seriously? Prostitution is morally wrong? Is that why it’s illegal? You’ve got to be fu*ck*ing kidding me. There are no morals in America anymore. None. So let’s stop pretending that there are.

  • OhHellNo

    The biggest mystery is why RentBoy even existed more than a few weeks before being busted. Wonder if RentMen is on that plane to Brazil yet?

  • Matt

    It’s about time they get busted.

  • moldisdelicious

    @pjm1:

    You seem to have fallen victim from the manipulation and trickery game that these exploitationists that are only out for themselves and those that they views as their own have set up. They basically push their self interests which usually involves money, power or both and use the whole lgbt rights, discrimination, homophobia issue to push their little thing. In the process, they hurt the lgbt rights movement by basically discrediting it or doing things to make it look bad.

    This is a prime example. What has rentboy.Com done for the lgbt community where folks are treating it like it’s a necessity? Law wise, prostitution is a crime. Do I agree that it should be criminalized? No as long as it’s done with consent, not forced against their will with two or more parties that are 18 and up. Rentboy.Com is basically doing crime and obviously what happens to criminals? If the owner was smart and really wanted to do something positive instead of exploiting, he would have put money towards special interest groups to help legalize prostitution where his business operated. But then again, he probably wouldn’t be making that much money.

    Those straight oriented sites will get their turn but rentboy.Com is getting it’s day now.

  • John

    We as Americans are such prudes and puritans. Other cultures (including some in this country) have an entirely different outlook on prostitution. If you want to sell your body for pleasure and it is your choice then it should be legal. Instead we have the morality police of a nanny state saying “that’s wrong”, “that’s what we decided and it is illegal”. Geesh America Home of the FREE and the brave. So much for the “free” part.
    I was always taught that my rights end when they infringe upon someone else’s, so IF I would decide to “rent” myself or my body parts out (which at my age/size and looks, I would be todays version of a five and dime) I should be able to.

  • Stache99

    @moldisdelicious: Please explain your babbling. Who are they exploiting and how does them existing hurt the LGBT community?

  • Clark35

    @John: No we’re not prudes. Even in countries with decriminalized/Legalised prostitution men, women, and even children are trafficked in large numbers and forced into prostitution.

  • moldisdelicious

    @Stache99:

    I’m not babbling simply because you don’t agree with breh. Not here to argue with you so kill the disrespect you’re throwing at me.

    The rentboy.Com prostitute ring is trying tie itself in with the gay rights movement when it had nothing to do with it. The fact that there’s so many gay people that are all trying to defend these guys as if they didnt break the law is ridiculous. Just because the feds didn’t shut them down right away doesn’t mean that rentboy.Com wasn’t a prostitute ring.

  • charlieeod74

    @Kangol: It’s easy for law enforcement to go after “soft targets” they hooked and rent boys don’t shoot back. All this money spent on catching real criminals/terrorists and they go after prostitutes go figure

  • Maleko

    @jwtraveler: I can’t figure the Homeland folks angle in this, it’s got nothing to do with Homeland Security’s mission, so why bother in the first place. NYPD has obviously known about the website and it’s ‘business’ model for years by now, at least 15 years if not more. Some of NYPD’s finest undoubtedly used the resource from time to time. It’s been on the national news several times, notably when that right-wing pastor took a guy he found on rentboy with him on his vacation; the pastor says he is not gay, but he took a guy from rentboy to help take care of him and his needs. Something else must have been going on for Homeland Security to partner up with NYPD on this action: drugs, money laundering, but they can’t have gone to this much trouble for sex workers, it’s barely a crime in places like NYC, SF, LA, Chicago, etc. You’d get busted for it in Utah or Idaho, but why bother with all the good mormon boys that are such upstanding citizens in every other way? Need to find the court order that resulted in the search warrant to see what Law Enforcement claimed in court.
    There is more to come, I mean more serious criminal activity, there has to be, doesn’t there?

  • LetsMakeSensePeople

    So the Secret Service can see female sex workers in Colombia for fun and get a slap on the wrist….oh never mind.
    Please help a future legal defender. No amount is too small —>h ttps://www.gofundme.com/ve53jvsh

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