The United States has charged three Chinese cloth clip makers with child pornography offenses, according to the United States Attorney’s Office in California.
The company was charged on Thursday with possession and distribution of child exploitation material, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
A fourth defendant, who was not identified, is alleged to have posted child pornography on the company’s website, the federal complaint said.
The indictment also charges that the defendants knowingly and willfully uploaded and disseminated child exploitation images of children.
In addition, the indictment charges that a company owned by one of the defendants, China’s No. 1 clothing maker, made a computer program to create and distribute images of minors that the company had created in 2013.
The United Kingdom also issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday for the other two defendants, according for The Daily Mail.
The two defendants are being held without bond at a federal prison in El Segundo, California.
They are also charged with participating in child pornography activity and transmitting child pornography.
A search warrant affidavit for the Los Angeles-based company said that in May 2017, the defendants began to post child exploitation content on the website, which they referred to as “Dollhouse.”
The website contains images of child abuse, torture, and sadistic conduct.
In a Facebook post in June 2017, an unnamed defendant said that the photos were posted because the site “made the best of it” and said that she would continue to post it.
In August 2017, a video posted to the site showed the defendant laughing as she said she had created the images to show her own children.
One of the victims was then shown holding a knife and threatening to kill her.
The video was later removed from the site, the complaint said, and the defendants later acknowledged they had uploaded it to the website.
The three defendants were arrested on Wednesday and have been charged with one count each of possession of child pornographic material, distributing child pornography, and knowingly and wilfully uploading and disseminating child pornography images.
The Department of Justice and the FBI are leading the investigation.