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in a plea agreement, ken power, william muehlenweg and taras zand, who were members of the newstar enterprise, admitted that they conspired to launder more than $3.5 million through the sale of images of minors on the newstar websites.
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the image gallery at the newstar websites contained more than a million images of underage girls, according to the indictments. many of the girls in the images were participants in sex acts. the images were for sale, and the newstar websites advertised memberships at $3.95 per week to access the full image gallery and to view the full-length videos that could be streamed from the site.
in addition to a member list, newstar enterprise members kept records of their subscription status, website statistics, and online interactions with newstar enterprise members. members also kept a record of their payment details, such as credit card numbers and bank account numbers.
according to court documents, newstar enterprise members referred to themselves as producers, directors, and managers of child models. they sent other newstar enterprise members facsimile and e-mail messages soliciting subscriptions to newstar websites. newstar enterprise members also hosted webinars and other online meetings in which they discussed child modeling and child pornography.
the newstar enterprise operated the websites in two tiers of membership. tier one membership required the purchase of a monthly subscription, which could be as low as $40 or as high as $300 per month, depending on the number of images and videos the member could access. tier two membership was reserved for newstar enterprise members who agreed to pay an additional monthly fee to purchase from the newstar enterprise all of the child modeling content available on the newstar websites. the additional fees ranged from $7.95 to $30 per month.