SAN DIEGO — The two owners and two employees of San Diego-based pornographic website GirlsDoPorn.com were charged with federal sex trafficking counts today, with prosecutors alleging the defendants coerced and threatened the victims into appearing in online pornography videos.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, numerous young women who initially responded to ads for modeling jobs were deceived by the defendants to appear in adult films.

Once the victims learned the work involved pornography, the defendants allegedly told them the videos would be distributed to private clients, and not disseminated on the internet.

Prosecutors say the women were "pressured into signing documents without reviewing them and then threatened with legal action or outing if they failed to perform." Others were not allowed to leave the shoots -- which were conducted at various San Diego hotels -- until the videos were completed, which sometimes involved sex acts the victims initially declined to perform, prosecutors say.

Website owners Michael James Pratt, 36, and Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 37, are charged along with porn actor Ruben Andre Garcia, 31, and administrative assistant Valerie Moser, 37. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say Pratt remains outstanding, while Wolfe was arrested Tuesday, and Garcia was arrested Wednesday. It was not clear when Moser was arrested, but the U.S. Attorney's Office said she is slated to be arraigned in San Diego federal court on Friday.

In addition, FBI agents executed a search warrant Wednesday night at an office in the Spreckels Theatre Building in downtown San Diego, where prosecutors say the website operated from. The website and its sister sites allegedly generated more than $17 million in revenue.

The defendants are also currently involved in an ongoing San Diego civil trial in which they are being sued by 22 women who appeared in videos on the site. The allegations in that trial -- which began in mid-August -- mirror the new federal charges.

In that case, the victims are seeking more than $22 million in damages and ownership rights to the videos they appeared in.

Any additional victims were encouraged to call the San Diego FBI office at 858-320-1800.