Expect big names to drop in the federal government’s Asian brothel bust.
As previously reported, the Justice Department on Wednesday announced arrests in a high-end brothel network used by elected officials, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, lawyers, doctors and more.
According to the Justice Department, the ringleaders operated two websites to advertise Asian ‘models’ for photography as a front.
“Three individuals have been arrested in connection with operating sophisticated high-end brothels in greater Boston and eastern Virginia. Commercial sex buyers allegedly included elected officials, high tech and pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, professors, attorneys, scientists and accountants, among others,” the US Attorney’s Office of the District of Massachusetts said.
According to the DOJ, the following defendants have been charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity:
- Han Lee, a/k/a “Hana,” 41, of Cambridge, Mass.;
- James Lee, 68, of Torrance, Calif.; and
- Junmyung Lee, 30, of Dedham, Mass.
According to the charging documents, the defendants operated an interstate prostitution network with multiple brothels from July 2020 to present in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts, as well as in Fairfax and Tysons, Virginia.
“This case goes back to the summer of 2022 when investigators identified several buyers through surveillance phone records and interviews,” Acting US Attorney for Massachusetts, Joshua Levy said. “The buyers who made up this ring hail from an array of professions.”
He added: “They are doctors, they are lawyers, they are accountants, they are elected officials, they are executives of high tech companies and pharmaceutical companies, they are military officers, government contractors, professors, scientists. They are the men who fuel this commercial sex ring.”
Appointments, which were booked on a ‘cash only’ basis, cost between $350 to $600 an hour, according to Joshua Levy.
According to investigative reporter Paul Sperry, “Investigators suspect prostitution ring may have been part of Chinese espionage plot targeting high-tech government contracting centers like Cambridge and Tysons Corner”
DEVELOPING: Investigators suspect prostitution ring may have been part of Chinese espionage plot targeting high-tech government contracting centers like Cambridge and Tysons Corner https://t.co/mLDKen0fLc
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) November 9, 2023
The US Attorney’s Office did not disclose the client list, however, expect big names to drop.
The clients or “johns” were required to provide their full names and other identifying information so the Justice Department has the receipts.
The Washington Times reported:
It’s not typical for the Justice Department to get involved in breaking up local prostitution rings, but the sex-network bust federal prosecutors announced on Wednesday wasn’t an ordinary operation.
In a public statement, Justice Department officials only named the three men arrested for running the operation.
The clients’ identities were kept secret, but it’s unlikely they will be shielded for long.
Clients were required to provide not only their full name and other identifying information but an employer reference.
Many of their names are now in the hands of the Justice Department.
“Prosecutors love to go after high-level folks because they can make a name for themselves,” Mr. Rahmani said.
Special Agent Zachary Mitlitsky, the lead investigator, said he believes there are potentially hundreds of “yet to be identified” customers from different professions. He made a point of explaining why the Justice Department has not named any of the men — yet.
“I do not do this for purposes of maintaining their anonymity, but instead do so because our investigation into their involvement in prostitution is active and ongoing,” Mr. Mitlitsky said.
Criminal justice experts say it’s likely federal prosecutors are working on plea agreements in exchange for cooperation from those they have identified as the brothels’ clients.