From 2012 to 2015, Touset paid more than $55,000.
“Unfortunately, extreme poverty in many parts of the world affords individuals like Touset the opportunity to exploit children across national borders,” Horn said.
Touset kept a spreadsheet of girls’ names, their birthdays and his personal notes about each girl, prosecutors said. He’d chat with them online, asking if they would have sex with him if he came to the Philippines.
The girls were as young as 9. The oldest was 15.
Authorities were first alerted of Touset in September 2014 when Western Union flagged a group of people sending small amounts of money to countries known for sex tourism and child pornography, including the Philippines.
That information along with data from an email provider were sent to Homeland Security Investigations.
Federal agents stopped Touset at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Dec. 21, 2014. He was flying back from Amsterdam, according to an arrest affidavit.
Authorities took two laptops and a pair of external hard drives at the airport. They found thousands of images on those and the devices taken during a warrant search of his home in January 2015.
“The admirable actions of the money transfer and e-mail companies helped shine a light on this reprehensible conduct, and as a result this case has helped save other vulnerable children from being victimized,” Horn said.