We’ve got an update in the Kurt Eichenwald/Justin Berry saga. To recap, former New York Times reporter Eichenwald (now at Portfolio) paid an underage source $2000 for a 2005 story about web porn. The underage source, Berry, operated several pornographic websites. The story, still on the Times website, was one of the most talked about stories of that year.
Now it’s revealed that Eichenwald paid Berry a heck of a lot more than $2000. Subpoenaed PayPal records in the trial of adult website operator (and Berry collaborator) Tim Richards reveal the following:
- A man named “Andrew McDonald” using Kurt Eichenwald’s e-mail address and with a mailing address in Eichenwald’s hometown of Dallas sent Berry numerous payments in 2005.
- These payments were made to Berry directly before Berry’s illegal underage website was relaunched. Therefore, it’s possible Eichenwald’s payments may have directly subsidized Berry placing illegal pornography on the internet.
- Eichenwald might be under criminal investigation on child pornography-related charges as a result of these additional cash gifts to Berry. Exact cash amounts are currently unknown and will be revealed by U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger this week after credit card numbers have been redacted from the subpoenaed PayPal records.