US says prostitution ring counted politicians, tech execs, legal professionals as shoppers


Exterior of John Jospeh Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston

The outside of John Jospeh Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., November 28, 2018. REUTERS/Katherine Taylor/File Picture Acquire Licensing Rights

BOSTON, Nov 8 (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday charged three individuals with working a high-end brothel community out of condo complexes in larger Boston and northern Virginia whose clients included elected officers, tech and pharmaceutical executives, legal professionals, professors and army officers.

Federal prosecutors in Boston didn’t determine any of the “rich and well-connected clientele” that they are saying paid as much as $600 per hour for sexual encounters with predominantly Asian ladies who have been being exploited by way of intercourse trafficking.

The brothels’ alleged operators — Han Lee, 41, and Junmyung Lee, 30, of Massachusetts and James Lee, 68, of California — have been arrested and charged with conspiring to coerce and entice ladies to journey to interact in unlawful sexual exercise.

Appearing U.S. Lawyer Josh Levy mentioned the probe was “simply getting began” and that regulation enforcement was gathering extra proof after executing search warrants on areas in Massachusetts, Virginia and California.

These searches included of energetic brothels and uncovered monetary paperwork, money and ladies believed to be participating in prostitution, in accordance with court records.

“We’re dedicated to working intently with our federal, state and native companions to carry accountable the individuals who each ran this ring and the individuals who fueled the demand for this ring,” Levy mentioned at a press convention.

Han Lee and Junmyung Lee, who’re each Korean, have been ordered by a choose to be detained following a listening to in Massachusetts. Han Lee’s lawyer declined to remark. Different protection legal professionals both didn’t reply to requests for remark or couldn’t be recognized.

According to charging documents, the defendants, led by Han Lee, used high-end condo complexes as brothels in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts, and Fairfax and Tysons, Virginia.

Two web sites marketed appointments with Asian ladies, and clients underwent a vetting course of that included offering their driver’s license photographs and employers’ names, prosecutors mentioned. The U.S. authorities has seized these websites’ domains.

Authorities mentioned they believed the brothel community had doubtlessly a whole bunch of shoppers, who Levy mentioned “typically paid a month-to-month charge to be a part of this illicit membership.”

Clients included politicians, pharmaceutical and expertise executives, docs, army officers, professors, legal professionals, enterprise executives, scientists and accountants, prosecutors mentioned.

Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston, Enhancing by Alexia Garamfalvi; Enhancing by David Gregorio and Michael Perry

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Nate Raymond studies on the federal judiciary and litigation. He may be reached at [email protected].

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