Crime Founder, David Elms, Pleads Guilty to Trying to Hire Hit Man


The founder and former owner of a popular hooker-finding Web site pleaded guilty on Tuesday to trying to hire a hit man to kill a prostitute who's suing him.

David Elms founded in 1999 and eventually became one of the most influential men in the call-girl biz. His site allowed johns to review and rate prostitutes, and Phoenix cops say he used it to promote the notorious Desert Divas escort ring broken up in 2008. He's named as a defendant in that case.

As part of the Desert Divas investigation, police stumbled upon Elms, who told an undercover officer he wanted a call girl killed and one of his Internet competitors roughed up.



After his arrest, Elms failed to show up for court hearings and went on the lam for two months. His odyssey reportedly took him to Dubai and Mexico before he was apprehended in June while trying to cross the international border in California.

He also pleaded guilty to illegal control of an enterprise for his role in the Desert Divas promotion. He's scheduled to be sentenced on March 8 before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Carolyn Passamonte.



KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern