The U.S. Department of Justice has charged three individuals for operating "sophisticated high-end brothels" catering to elected officials, tech executives, pharmaceutical executives, lawyers, professors, and military officers.
Charges come from an ongoing investigation that started in 2020 into an interstate prostitution network operating in Cambridge and Watertown in Massachusetts, and Fairfax and Tysons in Virginia, with the defendants allegedly establishing an infrastructure to lure primarily Asian women to travel to Massachusetts and Virginia for prostitution, according to a press release by the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts.
The charging documents state that the defendants used upscale apartment complexes, with rents reaching up to $3,664, as brothels, furnishing and maintaining them regularly, and advertised their operations through websites where customers could see what each woman had to offer, and availability.
"Over the course of the investigation, a wide array of buyers were identified, including, but not limited to, politicians, high tech and pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, professors, lawyers, scientists and accountants," the press release read.
Although the DOJ doesn't disclose the clients' names, the defendants allegedly communicated with verified customers, confirming appointments via text and address details for each appointment. In these text exchanges, they sent customers a "menu" of available options, services, and hourly rates, charging anywhere from $350 to $600 per hour depending on the services.
Han Lee, 41, James Lee, 68, and Junmyung Lee, 30, all face charges of conspiracy to coerce and entice travel for illegal sexual activity, with possible prison sentences of up to five years, three years of probation, and a fine of up to $250,000.
Officials say the investigation is still ongoing.
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