Web site owner faces obscenity charges

A grand jury in California has indicted a Web site owner on four obscenity-related charges, and the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to recover profits from his pornography DVD-distributing business, the DOJ said Thursday.

Robert Alan Thomas, 52, of Malpitas, California, was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose with three counts of mailing obscene matters and one count of engaging in the business of selling or transferring obscene matters. Thomas operates the Web site Amateuraction.net, where customers can order a variety of porn DVDs, but the grand jury accused him of mailing sexually explicit hardcore videos to customers.

If convicted, Thomas faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each of the counts. The DOJ is seeking the forfeiture of various assets belonging to Thomas, including some pornography materials and all property used to commit the offenses.

Thomas does business under the names Amateur Action, Amateur Action BBS and AABBS. Thomas mailed two allegedly obscene DVDs to a person in Washington, D.C., in December 2006, according to court documents.

The DOJ Criminal Division’s Obscenity Prosecution Task Force has charged several people with obscenity-related crimes in recent months.

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