Prostitute-Review Website Run From Sonny's Bar-B-Q in Florida City
Dean Moreau is a businessman in Florida City. He runs a Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q there and once received a free membership to the Cutler Bay Business Association for donating food to a luncheon. On the side, he is also a managing member of Gringo Travel LLC, which until recently was highlighted on the Monger Network, one of the world's premier websites for reviewing prostitutes.
So intertwined are the 44-year-old's two businesses that those who wish to anonymously subscribe to Monger Network must send $40 to his Sonny's franchise store on South Dixie Highway. After Moreau manually processes the cash, the new member can click through message boards that praise Third-World prostitutes willing to give blowjobs without condoms, and shame those considered to be bad or lazy performers.
Reached by phone, Moreau initially described Gringo Travel LLC as an informational website that sells travel discounts. But when asked about Monger Network, to which he has no apparent tie beyond the Gringo Travel mention, he paused. "I mean, look at the site -- it's about mongering," he admitted before adding that all of his mail is delivered to the Sonny's and that he's just processing the money for a friend who lives in another country.
Moreau's friend "Jonesie" hides behind an avatar on the internet and never publishes under his real name. He calls himself an internet marketer and is responsible for the content of the site. Boards promoting sex tourism have existed since at least 1994, but what separates Monger Network is its nude images. Jonesie says he started off as a whoremonger hobbyist who preferred to pay for sex rather than engage in traditional relationships. In 2010, he registered Monger Network's domain for $9 and began running the site as a side business.
"I don't really have a problem with being called a monger," Jonesie says. "There are no victims in my hobby, and all of the women I do business with are over 18 and not being exploited in the actual sense of the word."
But Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q, which was formed in Gainesville and is now headquartered in Winter Park, does not share the same willingness to be associated with a site that describes sex in graphic detail.
In response to New Times' inquiry, company officials have dispatched an executive team and hired a private investigation firm. "Sonny's requires the highest ethical and moral behaviors and standards to be followed by all of its franchisees," says Montana Olson, public relations manager for the chain. "Our franchise agreements specifically prohibit illegal or immoral activity and will be strictly enforced."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.