Sooner or later, they all get caught. Sometimes, you can’t run. Just ask Jarec Wentworth. Sometimes, you can’t hide, ask Donald Burns. And if your name is Fabian Thylmann, you can’t do either. Who, you ask? The properties this Jaba-the-Hut of Porn once controlled have likely caused you to spill your sperm once or twice.
Let’s back up a bit.
It was back in July of 2006 that Thylmann’s name first appeared in the industry publication Xbiz. Back then, he was a co-founder of a popular software program still being used today by adult websites such as NakedSword and Helix. A 2011 article in New York Magazine revealed that shortly thereafter, Thylmann sold his stake in that company and started looking at adult properties to purchase. And purchase he did. He soon gobbled up porn sites and assembled an empire that made Hustler’s Larry Flynt look like a school boy with a lemonade stand.
German-born Thylmann created a new company, Manwin, and set up shop in Luxembourg. Industry insiders speculate Manwin quickly spent between $140 and $360 million dollars scarfing up sites including YouPorn, GayTube, SexTube, PornHub and eventually, Men.com.
Perhaps seeking to attain some respectability, an article in trade publication Adult Video News noted in July of 2012, Manwin pledged $50,000 a month for the ‘Performer Subsidy Fund’ for adult performer health screenings. As noted here at The Sword, that didn’t always work. Not long after, Thylmann was no longer associated with Manwin.
German site TheLocal.de divulged Thylmann sold his stake in Manwin for an estimated €73 million Euros, a staggering $99,595,214 in USD at the time. While Thylmnann was initially silent on his reasons, as the article pointed out, a 2012 tax evasion investigation – and a seven figure fine, was the likely impetus. It might also have had something to do with his December 2012 extradition and arrest on the matter.
Manwin then morphed into Mindgeek, and in January of this year they made the acquisition that set gay porn on its, errr, ass, and bought SeanCody lock, stock and model.
While even the venerable CNBC christened Thylmann the new “King of Porn” in 2012, as revealed this week, a prosecutor in Cologne, Germany would like to christen him Prisoner Number Drei-Sieben-Eins-Acht-Zwei-Drei. He is finally, formally being brought up on those tax evasion charges and could result in imprisonment without parole, as YNOT Europe reports. And what’s intriguing about this is that it explains why Manwin suddenly became Mindgeek and moved to Canada in 2013 his business partners, to whom he sold the company, wanted to distance themselves and the company from his legal mess.
You may have never heard the name Fabian Thylmann before and you may never again, but even if he’s locked away forever he sure gave us all something to fap about. Auf Wiedersehen.