Federal investigators continue Philly porn raid
PHILADELPHIA - October 28, 2010 (WPVI) -- Investigators returned Thursday to continue the raid of one of the biggest internet and phone sex companies in the country.
The raid is focused on National A-1 Advertisting at 106 South 7th Street inside the Washington Square Building in Philadelphia.
Sources tell Action News this raid part of an ongoing investigation by authorities in central Pennsylvania that began with a state police probe of an escort service there and alledged prostitution.
The U.S. Attorney's officer in Harrisburg had no comment on Thursday when asked if it was directing the raid.
Back in 2006, Action News featured National A-1 Advertising in an Action News Special Report. We were intrigued by the fact that a local company could become such a big player in the international sex industry yet remain hidden in plain sight. We took our cameras inside to take a look at the porn enterprise that now seems to be the target of a federal investigation.
A raid that started yesterday morning went into the night. Federal agents from the FBI, IRS and U.S. Attorney's Office loaded dozens upon dozens of boxes into a U-Haul truck under the watchful eyes of both city and State Police.
National A-1 is a major presence in the international adult entertainment industry - a multi-million dollar moneymaker and the brainchild of the elusive Richard Cohen. Cohen is a Drexel University graduate and a major player in the adult entertainment world.
VIDEO: In 2006, Cohen granted Action News Permission to go behind closed doors and inside his secretive enterprise for an exclusive report on his ever-expanding porn business. Employees told us that the company serves as a clearinghouse for thousands of porn videos. At the time, more than 30,000 porn videos were stored on servers there under tight security.
National A-1 is the parent company of websites such as Hotmovies.com, and the company also operates phone sex lines.
According to the company, in 2006 National A-1 was grossing $20-million annually JUST off of Hotmovies.com and that number was expected to grow.
James Cybert, a company official, wrote on his Twitter page, "Nothing like having 100 plus federal agents in your office." He added the agents were tightlipped and were refusing to divulge the contents of their search warrants.
Company CEO Richard Cohen, a Drexel University gard, goes to great length to avoid the limelight - even to avoid being photographed. Action News did talk to him off camera back in 2006 and he seemed intrigued that we had taken an interest in his company.
Now, it seems the federal government wants to know what's going on at National A-1.
philadelphia, pornography, pennsylvania, john rawlins, crime
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