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Pornhub founder Feras Antoon is building a massive mansion on a Montreal nature reserve

The massive mansion standing on the edge of a nature reserve is testament to the millions of dollars to be made from porn, as the company faces claims it was facilitating the exploitation of children and sex trafficking victims. 

For this is the house that porn built — the brand-new chateau in Montreal that Pornhub boss Feras Antoon will soon call home.

Syrian-born Antoon, 45, bought two lots of land next to the Bois-de-Saraguay nature park on the northern edge of Montreal for CAN$2.3 million (US$1.8 million) cash four years ago and spent millions more building the home of his dreams ever since.

And now, he is watching his deluxe mansion, complete with a six-car garage, near completion.

It backs on to Montreal’s ‘Mafia Row’ where many crime figures live. On the very spot that Antoon’s home is being built, a gunman stood and fired a single bullet through a double-paned window, killing Nicolo Rizzuto — ‘The Canadian Godfather’ — in his kitchen in 2010.

Feras Antoon

Canadian Feras Antoon is currently the CEO of Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek. Of the founders, he’s the only one who retains a formal operational role

Antoon, 45, bought two lots of land next in a Montreal nature reserve for CAN$2.3 million (US$1.8 million). He bought the land in cash four years ago and spent millions more building the home of his dreams ever since

Antoon, 45, bought two lots of land next in a Montreal nature reserve for CAN$2.3 million (US$1.8 million). He bought the land in cash four years ago and spent millions more building the home of his dreams ever since

Antoon, 45, bought two lots of land next in a Montreal nature reserve for CAN$2.3 million (US$1.8 million). He bought the land in cash four years ago and spent millions more building the home of his dreams ever since

‘It’s an area well-known as home to people who, let’s say, didn’t necessarily make their fortunes legally,’ said one long-time Montreal resident. ‘You ask anyone in the city about this area and they would say ‘Oh, Mafiaville.’

‘Antoon’s home is very opulent and completely over the top in everything. The front alone has 20 windows.’ he added. ‘But it fits in perfectly with other homes in the area,’

When DailyMail.com visited this week, a two-story arch that forms the front door was in the process of being installed.

Antoon and his wife Nicole Manos, who is of Greek-Canadian descent, have two sons. They already own several properties in Quebec.

Le Journal de Montreal reported he has a $2 million mansion an hour from Montreal in the tiny resort town of Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson and at least two sprawling condos in the city itself.

The previous owners of the site where his palace is being built went to court to win a planning battle to allow 220 trees to be felled to make room for it. 

The Montreal Heritage Council argued that the wooded land should be left alone as it played ‘an important ecological role…particularly with regard to biodiversity, the movement of fauna and the flow of water.’

Antoon was only granted permission to build if he agreed to fund the planting of 160 trees elsewhere.

Antoon and his wife Nicole Manos already own several properties in Quebec. She's pcitured with two sons in 2017

Antoon and his wife Nicole Manos already own several properties in Quebec. She's pcitured with two sons in 2017

Antoon and his wife Nicole Manos already own several properties in Quebec. She’s pcitured with two sons in 2017 

The Antoons are pictured this past Halloween with a group. Antoon is pictured far right with his wife and kids

The Antoons are pictured this past Halloween with a group. Antoon is pictured far right with his wife and kids

The Antoons are pictured this past Halloween with a group. Antoon is pictured far right with his wife and kids 

But just as his dream home gets close to completion, Antoon, the CEO of Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek, faces a money crunch nightmare. His empire is in danger of crumbling following allegations that much of the content on his leading site contains videos of underage girls.

‘Its site is infested with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags,’ wrote Nicholas Kristof in a New York Times column that first exposed Pornhub.

‘A search for ‘girls under18′ or ’14yo’ leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos. Most aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are.’

Already major credit card companies Mastercard, Visa and Discover have cut ties with Pornhub forcing it to delete 80 percent of its content in a bid to clean up its act. It has also severely curtailed uploading of videos and completely banned downloading.

And lawmakers in both the United States and Canada are drafting legislation to make it easier for child victims to sue companies that post videos of sexual acts.

Antoon runs MindGeek alongside his Chief Operating Officer David Tassillo. The two men have been called to testify before the Canadian parliament’s ethics committee on the New York Times allegations.

Tassillo also has opulent taste in real estate. He lives in this house on a quiet cul-de-sac in Laval, just north of Montreal. The home backs onto the Prairies River. 

‘I would…like to ask them how they expect to remedy the harm caused to individuals who never provided their consent for images and videos to be shared,’ said Member of Parliament, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who introduced the motion.

When DailyMail.com visited this week, a two-story arch that forms the front door was in the process of being installed at Antoon's luxury chateau

When DailyMail.com visited this week, a two-story arch that forms the front door was in the process of being installed at Antoon's luxury chateau

When DailyMail.com visited this week, a two-story arch that forms the front door was in the process of being installed at Antoon’s luxury chateau 

The deluxe mansion backs on to Montreal's 'Mafia Row' where many crime figures live. The chateau is near completion

The deluxe mansion backs on to Montreal's 'Mafia Row' where many crime figures live. The chateau is near completion

The deluxe mansion backs on to Montreal’s ‘Mafia Row’ where many crime figures live. The chateau is near completion 

Antoon has a $2 million mansion an hour from Montreal in the tiny resort town of Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson and at least two sprawling condos in the city itself

Antoon has a $2 million mansion an hour from Montreal in the tiny resort town of Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson and at least two sprawling condos in the city itself

Antoon has a $2 million mansion an hour from Montreal in the tiny resort town of Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson and at least two sprawling condos in the city itself

A group of 40 women are also suing MindGeek for $80 million saying it partnered with another site, GirlsDoPorn, and profited from its sex trafficking operation. GirlsDoPorn was closed down in January and ordered to pay nearly $13 million to its victims.

Antoon runs MindGeek alongside his Chief Operating Officer David Tassillo (pictured) The two men have been called to testify before the Canadian parliament's ethics committee on the New York Times allegations

Antoon runs MindGeek alongside his Chief Operating Officer David Tassillo (pictured) The two men have been called to testify before the Canadian parliament's ethics committee on the New York Times allegations

Antoon runs MindGeek alongside his Chief Operating Officer David Tassillo (pictured) The two men have been called to testify before the Canadian parliament’s ethics committee on the New York Times allegations

Antoon is the only remaining one of four founders of MindGeek who started the company in 2007 when they were all students at Montreal’s Concordia University. He was joined by Stephane Manos, who later became his brother-in-law, and two brothers Ouissam Youssef and Matt Keezer. The quartet had originally become friends through their love of foosball.

They had seen the success of YouTube as a search engine for videos and formed Pornhub as an adult version making money from banner ads.

It now has 1,200 employees and is based for tax reasons in the tiny European country of Luxembourg. It also has offices in Los Angeles, London, Cyprus and Romania according to its website. Other sites under MindGeek’s banner include YouPorn, RedTube, Brazzers, RealityKings, Babes.com and WickedPictures.

Keezer claims to have bought the domain name Pornhub for $2,750 from someone he met at a Playboy mansion party. The site first went online in 2007 and its popularity quickly exploded.

The company was sold for $140 million to German millionaire Fabian Thylman in 2010, but he sold it back to Antoon for $100 million three years later after he was arrested for tax evasion.

Pornhub now has more than 22 million registered users, drawing 120 million viewers a day — more than Amazon or Netflix.

Mindgeek’s COO David Tassillo also has opulent taste in real estate. He lives in this house on a quiet cul-de-sac in Laval, just north of Montreal. The home backs onto the Prairies River. Tassillo's home is pictured

Mindgeek’s COO David Tassillo also has opulent taste in real estate. He lives in this house on a quiet cul-de-sac in Laval, just north of Montreal. The home backs onto the Prairies River. Tassillo's home is pictured

Mindgeek’s COO David Tassillo also has opulent taste in real estate. He lives in this house on a quiet cul-de-sac in Laval, just north of Montreal. The home backs onto the Prairies River. Tassillo’s home is pictured 

Antoon's brother Mark  serving as the company's vice president

Antoon's brother Mark  serving as the company's vice president

Pornhub was launched by Canadian college grad Matt Keezer in 2007 after he bought the domain name for a mere $2,750

Pornhub was launched by Canadian college grad Matt Keezer in 2007 after he bought the domain name for a mere $2,750

Antoon’s brother Mark (left) is serving as the company’s vice president. Matt Keezer (right) is one of the founders. He now runs a travel booking company 

Pornhub currently has over 22million registered users worldwide and draws a staggering 120million visitors daily, placing it above Amazon and Netflix in online traffic rankings

Pornhub currently has over 22million registered users worldwide and draws a staggering 120million visitors daily, placing it above Amazon and Netflix in online traffic rankings

Pornhub currently has over 22million registered users worldwide and draws a staggering 120million visitors daily, placing it above Amazon and Netflix in online traffic rankings

In his New York Times piece that threatens to bring Pornhub down, Kristof said the website differed from YouTube because it allowed videos to be downloaded direct from the website.

‘So even if a rape video is removed at the request of the authorities, it may already be too late: The video lives on as it is shared with others or uploaded again and again,’ he wrote.

‘I came across many videos on Pornhub that were recordings of assaults on unconscious women and girls. The rapists would open the eyelids of the victims and touch their eyeballs to show that they were nonresponsive,’ Kristof added.

A Pornhub spokesman told DailyMail.com that since last week the company has created a ‘Red Team’ of additional moderators, increased the site’s list of banned words and is partnering with non-profits and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

He called allegations that it allows child videos on the site ‘irresponsible and flagrantly untrue.’

‘But due to the nature of our industry, people’s preconceived notions of Pornhub’s values and processes often differ from reality.’

ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD RAPE ON PORNHUB 

Earlier this week PornHub was forced to crack down on its unverified users following a scathing report by New York Times opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof.

Kristof highlighted a number of young girls who appeared in videos uploaded to Pornhub without their consent. Even after the videos were flagged and removed, downloaded copies continued to circulate, often with severe personal consequences. 

Pornhub said that it doesn’t knowingly allow images of sexual abuse of children.

But, in a blog post on Tuesday, the company listed steps it was taking to further protect against images of abuse and nonconsensual activity on its site. 

Pornhub said next year it will announce ways in which individuals can become verified users.  

It will still allow new material from partners it knows, like porn production companies. 

The website has a huge volume of material: 6.8 million new videos were uploaded last year, but the company could not say what percentage of that was from unverified users. 

‘Today, the use of our cards at Pornhub is being terminated. Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,’ Mastercard confirmed in a statement to DailyMail.com. 

‘As a result, and in accordance with our policies, we instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance. In addition, we continue to investigate potential illegal content on other websites to take the appropriate action,’ the company added. 

Visa, which is conducting its own probe on the matter, said that it is ‘suspending Pornhub’s acceptance privileges pending the completion of our ongoing investigation.’

American Express has a longstanding policy of not working with adult websites.

Pornhub said Tuesday it was halting unverified users from uploading videos after a New York Times column alleged that the pornographic website was ‘infested’ with videos of rape and underage sex.  

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