Girls Do Porn Owners Pretended to Be Journalists to Harass Their Victims

On the evening of October 9, 2019, FBI agents searched an office building in downtown San Diego. Inside was the headquarters of Girls Do Porn, a porn production company run by a group of men whose main business operation was coercing hundreds of women into having sex on camera.

The next day, the FBI charged the owners of Girls Do Porn with federal counts of sex trafficking. The raid came in the middle of a years-long civil trial, where 22 of Girls Do Porn’s victims sued the company for lying to them about how the videos would be spread online. In January, the women won, and the owners of Girls Do Porn—primarily Michael Pratt, Matthew Wolfe, and Andre Garcia—owe them nearly $13 million.

But details of the extent of the harassment and abuse these women and their legal team endured are still coming to light. In a recently-released document, we can see what the FBI found when it searched the Girls Do Porn office last fall. According to the document, the FBI found evidence suggesting the Girls Do Porn owners planned to flee the country to avoid arrest, attempts to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars, distribute a fake porn video to humiliate the women and their lawyers, and attempts to impersonate journalists in order to harass them.

“All the harassment did is tell us we were on the right track.”

Girls Do Porn co-conspirator and lead videographer Matthew Wolfe, who was arrested the day before the office search in October, filed a motion to be released and have a bail set, citing health reasons, including mild sleep apnea, as a risk for contracting Covid-19 in detention. The document is the government’s response in opposition to his motion to rescind the detention order and set bail.

The government asserts that, partially based on the findings from the raid, Wolfe poses a flight risk, and “no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure [Wolfe’s] appearance and the safety of the Community.”

Defendant has no reason to remain in the United States. He is a citizen of New Zealand with no right to live or work in the United States. He could live anywhere. He owes millions of dollars to a subset of his victims. For the reasons previously stated, and in consideration of the new evidence below, the United States urges the Court to deny the motion.

The details of the items seized that the FBI includes in this letter paint a more complete picture of a group of people working to harass and silence their victims even as testimonies about their criminal operation continue to pile up against them. Agents found a chart “listing countries that do not extradite individuals to the United States,” which indicated “whether each country had on-line banking and whether citizens of New Zealand, like [Wolfe], could obtain a visa.”

They also found a video script entitled “22 Whores + 5 Shady Lawyers VS GirlsDoPorn,” with the subheading, “Share and spread this video as far and wide as possible” and listed the names of the plaintiffs in the civil suit, “along with information intended to embarrass, harass and intimidate them,” according to the FBI, including full names and location.

“Ask yourself how viral these videos will go now if nobody is controlling them . . . . Good Job :)” the script said.

Brian Holm, one of the lead attorneys representing the women in the Girls Do Porn case, told me that the fact that the Girls Do Porn owners were preparing to release a video to dox them is not surprising at all. Since filing the case three years ago, Holm and his co-counsel John O’Brien have endured endless, aggressive harassment.

In November, Pratt and Girls Do Porn producer Kevin Gibson allegedly harassed Holm by photoshopping his face into porn to make it look like he was posing with two male porn actors. The images were spread through social media.

“Since filing this case, my wife and I had our tires slashed,” Holm told me in an email. “Someone created an online profile (website, Twitter account, etc.) for ‘Holm Whore Group.’ Pictures of my wife and one day old daughter were published on pornography blogs under some abhorrent headlines. My phone was spammed and rang every 30 seconds for several months. And I had a private investigator following me around videotaping me…. All the harassment did is tell us we were on the right track.”

The FBI also found a phone list with the victims’ names and phone numbers, and on the back, a handwritten note outlining a script for impersonating a journalist. “Hi My name is [******], I’m a journalist from LA, I’m calling in regards to the girlsdoporn case,” the note said. “I’ve heard your [sic] related to the case & curious to get a comment if you have the spare time.”

Holm confirmed to Motherboard that several of his clients said they had been contacted by someone claiming to be a reporter from either the Los Angeles Times or the New York Times. “It was the same phone number calling them claiming to be from multiple different media outlets,” he said. “I called the number several times but no one answered.”

In addition to the findings from the search, the government outlined more evidence to support its recommendation that Wolfe remain in detention, including that his fiancé’s family is “sufficiently wealthy to set up trust funds for his children” and that $250,000 was deposited into one of the children’s accounts a week after he was detained.

“These funds could easily be converted to support the family’s relocation to New Zealand or a country on the chart,” the document said.

Wolfe also had been wiring Pratt thousands of dollars after Pratt fled the U.S. during the trial, and he maintained a Bitcoin wallet, which could be used to stay anonymous if he also decided to flee, according to the document.

The FBI’s recommendation concludes by noting that Wolfe’s medical records showing mild sleep apnea isn’t a risk factor for Covid-19, and isn’t a good enough reason for him to be released from detention.

Whether or not Wolfe is released from detention is up to a judge, but the FBI’s very strong recommendation—combined with a stack of evidence toward his and his co-owners’ malicious intentions—makes it more unlikely that he’ll get out anytime soon. His business partner and Girls Do Porn ringleader Pratt is still a wanted fugitive, suspected of hiding out in his home country of New Zealand, where Wolfe is also from and visited as recently as last year.

The risk of Wolfe catching coronavirus “cannot be permitted to overwhelm the balance of factors prescribed by Congress in determining whether a particular defendant is properly subject to pretrial detention,” the FBI wrote. “Moreover, during a time when community and law-enforcement resources are devoted to fighting COVID-19, it may be easier for a motivated defendant to abscond.”

The full document is below.