NBC’s San Diego affiliate has published the results of an investigation revealing that “the owners of a San Diego based pornographic website accused of coercing women into performing in sex videos had ties to shell companies charged with laundering billions of dollars for a Mexican drug cartel and trafficking illegal weapons.”

In a separate story, the NBC station reported “A San Diego based company is accused of making millions of dollars by coercing young women into having sex on camera.

“For many of the women, including some who spoke to NBC 7 Investigates, their experience ended with thoughts of suicide, humiliation, and isolation from family and friends.

“Nearly two dozen women say what started with a response to a modeling ad on Craigslist ended with videos of them having sex posted to some of the most popular porn websites in the world, according to a lawsuit filed against the company.”

Additional investigation into the corporate records revealed that the porn company, Bubblegum Films, was registered in Vanuatu.

The story links to corporate documents that indicate the company was registered in late 2006, and finally removed from the Vanuatu Financial Service Commission’s register of companies in 2012.

According to the corporate records, Bubblegum Films was owned by the notorious GT Group. Geoff Taylor, whose initials are in the company named, his sons Ian and Michael first appeared in international headlines when their holding companies were associated with international arms dealers.

“One of the companies incorporated by GT Group was SP Trading. It was created by Geoff Taylor’s sons Ian and Michael Taylor and did business with Russian arms smugglers.

“In 2008, authorities arrested Viktor Bout, who was nicknamed the ‘Merchant of Death’ and was the inspiration behind the Nicholas Cage character in the movie ‘Lord of War’, during a joint U.S.-Thai sting operation, according to a federal complaint. “

The GT Group was struck from the corporate register in 2014.

The production of pornography is a crime in Vanuatu, but the company was created as an offshore operation, and because of this it was prohibited from doing business in Vanuatu.

According to a court proceeding in San Diego California, dozens of women, some of them under-age girls, responded to online ads looking for bikini models. They were required to provide photos of themselves as part of the application.

They were later contacted by Bubblegum Films and told that the conditions of work had changed, that they would not be shooting a bikini video, but rather a sex video, for sale to private collectors in Australia and New Zealand.

Women were paid to pose as ex-participants. They posed as references for the company, allaying the girls’ fears and encouraging them to “be a tough girl and it’ll be over before you know it.”

The investigative report states, “The women said after their videos were posted online, some dropped out of college, lost their jobs or were kicked out of their home.

“One woman NBC 7 spoke with said her parents stopped talking to her for a year after the video featuring her went online.

“’I don’t want to see another young girl fall victim into any of this,’ she said. ‘It’s horrible, it’s something I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.’

“In June 2016 four women filed their lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court. In less than a year, 18 additional women came forward.

“The trial was set for March 8, 2018, but on the day the judge issued a tentative ruling finding merit to the claims that the men engaged in “malice, fraud or oppression,” Pratt filed for bankruptcy.

“The case has since been put on hold.”

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