Brothels served politicians, tech and pharma executives, military: Feds
Police SUV in Boston.
David L. Ryan | Boston Globe | Getty Images
A network of “sophisticated” high-end brothels in greater Boston and eastern Virginia provided sex for payment to “elected officials, high-tech and pharmaceutical officials, doctors, military officers, contractors government that has security clearances, professors,” and others, federal. prosecutors said Wednesday.
“Elect a role, they may be represented in this case,” Acting US Attorney for Massachusetts Joshua Levy said at a news conference announcing the arrest of three people in connection with being operating the expensive sex shops.
Levy’s office said the brothels required “interested sex customers” to provide information and employer credentials before booking sessions with prostitutes.
The brothels charged about $350 to “up to $600 an hour depending on the services and were paid in cash,” according to the Levy’s office.
The sex worker positions were allegedly held in “high-end apartment complexes” where the rent was as much as $3,664, authorities said.
The branches, which began operating around July 2020, were located in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts, as well as in Fairfax and Tysons, Virginia.
The locations in Virginia are near Washington, DC, the US capital, and are located in an area full of government contractors, many of which have government security clearances.
The Boston area is home to many pharmaceutical and tech companies, as well as major financial services and law firms, as well as America’s top universities.
In addition to politicians and military brass, business executives and government contractors, customers included “lawyers, scientists and accountants.”
“The investigation into the involvement of sex buyers is active and ongoing,” the US attorney’s office said.
About 20 “sex buyers” were interviewed by investigators as part of a multi-year investigation of the network, according to a criminal complaint.
“I believe hundreds of customers are still being identified,” a Department of Homeland Security special agent wrote in the complaint.
The complaint suggests the investigation began in 2020, when a confidential source awaiting sentencing on federal criminal charges then tipped off authorities about the network of brothels.
Two Massachusetts residents, Han “Hana” Lee, 41, and 30-year-old Junmyung Lee, as well as 68-year-old James Lee who lives in the Los Angeles area, were accused in the case.
Each was charged with coercion and enticement to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity.
“It is alleged that the defendants set up the infrastructure for brothels in several states that they used to get women – particularly Asian women – to travel to Massachusetts and Virginia for prostitution. done,” the US attorney’s office said.
The criminal complaint alleges that between December 2019 and October of this year, Han “deposited just under $795,000 in cash into her personal Bank of America bank accounts, while also using approximately Another $109,000 in cash to make payments against her Bank of America credit card account. , which she regularly uses for travel-related purchases and other expenses related to soup operations.”
During the same period, Junmyung, who is a student, “deposited just under $194,000 in cash into his Bank of America personal account, while also using another $47,305 in cash to make payments against his Bank of America credit card account,” the complaint said.
Two websites used to advertise services by prostitutes who worked at the brothels include nude photos of women, as well as their physical measurements.
“Here to serve our wonderful friends in Boston,” one of the websites said, according to an image seen by CNBC.
“Each website reportedly described a verification process that interested sex customers took to qualify for an appointment – including asking clients to fill out a form giving their full name, postal address -d, phone number, employer and certificate if they had one,” the US attorney’s office said. said.
Han Lee and Junmyung Lee were arrested Wednesday morning and are expected to appear in Boston federal court later in the day. James Lee was arrested in California, where he lives, and will appear in Boston court later.