Three individuals have been arrested and accused of setting up the “high-end brothel network,” which has reportedly been operating for three years.
Han Lee of Cambridge, Massachusetts; Junmyung Lee of Dedham, Massachusetts; and James Lee of Torrance, California were all arrested this week for their role in operating the network, which spans multiple states. The men were charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice travel to engage in illegal sexual activity. Their brothels were located just outside Washington, D.C. in Fairfax and Tysons, as well as at two locations in Massachusetts, Cambridge and Watertown.
According to authorities, the men marketed the prostitution network online, where interested customers could see naked photographs of the women they wanted to hire, along with measurements such as their height, weight and bust size. The website claimed to be advertising nude Asian models for photography shoots at high-end studios, but it was actually a front for the prostitution services.
One individual who was interviewed by federal agents supplied a “menu” they received from one of the brothels, which included a range of services with various prices depending on the length of the appointment, with options available from 30 minutes to 120 minutes. Some services cost as much as $600 per hour.
According to prosecutors, the customers who frequented the brothels included politicians, government contractors with security clearances, lawyers, technology company executives, doctors, pharmaceutical executives, students, retail employees, professors, military officers, scientists and business executives.
However, authorities concede that there are hundreds of customers who have yet to be identified that likely operate in other professional disciplines.
The customers were reportedly not named because the investigation is ongoing, but it will be interesting to see if their names are ever released. Of particular concern are politicians, military officials and others who could be susceptible to blackmail. While the clients are not being charged right now, there could be charges filed against them in the future.
Potential clients seeking sexual services were instructed to fill out a form on the website, including their name, phone number, employer and email address for a “verification process” that also included a phone conversation before clients would be allowed to meet with the women.
The meetings took place at various high-end apartment complexes, some of which carry monthly rents of more than $3,600. The men reportedly hid the proceeds of the network by depositing funds into their personal bank accounts and using peer-to-peer transfers. They also had money orders totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in amounts below reporting thresholds, which they used to pay for the utilities and rent of their brothels.
The sex ring was characterized by acting Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Josh Levy as being “built on secrecy and exclusivity, catering to a wealthy and well-connected clientele.” They reportedly enjoyed a high volume of business.
Journalist Paul Sperry hinted on X that the prostitution ring could be part of Chinese espionage efforts, sharing a story about it from The Hill with the caption: “DEVELOPING: Investigators suspect prostitution ring may have been part of Chinese espionage plot targeting high-tech government contracting centers like Cambridge and Tysons Corner.”
The three men are facing maximum sentences of 20 years in prison, along with fines of as much as $250,000.
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