Porn offices raided by FBI, state agents
By Robert Moran from Philly.com
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Old City headquarters of a lucrative web of companies providing Internet sex videos and telephone sex chat was raided Wednesday by federal and state authorities.
Law-enforcement agents descended on the offices of National A-1 Advertising and National A-1 Internet at 106 S. Seventh St. in the morning and did not leave till after 8 p.m.
A U-Haul van was backed up to the entrance of the building and box after box of evidence was handed from agent to agent into the van until they reached a box labeled "#81."
Some of the boxes were labeled "operator/chat logs." Others were labeled to indicate they contained evidence from Hotmovies.com, a subsidiary of National A-1 Internet.
A report Wednesday about the raid by AVN.com, an adult entertainment news source, described Hotmovies.com as "a leading adult industry provider VOD provider."
The focus of the investigation was unclear.
One law-enforcement source at the raid acknowledged that it was a joint state and federal investigation.
FBI agents participated in the raid, but an agency spokesman declined to comment further. Agents with the Pennsylvania State Police also were involved with the raid. Officers from the Philadelphia Police Vice Unit were on scene to assist.
Corporate records list Richard Cohen as president and CEO of National A-1 Advertising. He could not be reached for comment, but one phone number listed in the records went to the voice mail of a woman who offered escort services for men who had been "screened."
A man who calls himself "James Cybert," who in press releases describes himself as director of business development for National A-1 Internet and its subsidiary companies, commented about the raid via his Twitter account: @HotMovies.
"Nothing like having 100+ federal agents in your office. :(," he wrote.
"Raided by police and federal agents. expect to be back online later tonight," he posted later in the day.
The account showed a picture of a man wearing headphones and holding an apple in his mouth. By Wednesday night, the photo had been removed.
The Hotmovies.com site, however, was back up and running.
On his Facebook page, Cybert describes himself as the "Grand Puba" on Hotmovies.com and writes: "Hotmovies was my little side project that grew into one of the largest adult video sites on the web. Makes me proud."
One of the affiliated websites says that "National A-1 was established in 1990. National owns and operates one of the largest networks of telephone entertainment services in the United States. Our products include voice personal ads, chat lines, and live one-on-one phone conversation."
It adds: "National A-1 Internet, Inc. was established in 1998 and owns premiere websites. Our sites focus on relationships and targeted adult enterainment."