Interested sex buyers were allegedly required to provide employer information and references before booking appointments.
BOSTON – “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 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.
Han Lee and Junmyung Lee were arrested this morning and will appear in federal court in Boston later today. James Lee was arrested in the Central District of California and will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.
According to the charging documents, from at least July 2020, the defendants operated an interstate prostitution network with multiple brothels in Cambridge and Watertown, Mass., as well as in Fairfax and Tysons, Va.
It is alleged that the defendants collectively established the infrastructure for brothels in multiple states which they used to persuade, induce and entice women – primarily Asian women – to travel to Massachusetts and Virginia to engage in prostitution.
Specifically, the defendants allegedly rented high-end apartment complexes as brothel locations, which they furnished and regularly maintained. The monthly rent for the brothel locations were as high as $3,664. It is further alleged that the defendants coordinated the women’s airline travel and transportation and permitted women to stay overnight in the brothel locations so they did not have to find lodging elsewhere, therefore enticing women to participate in their prostitution network.
The defendants allegedly advertised their prostitution network primarily on two websites – bostontopten10.com and browneyesgirlsva.blog – which offered appointments with women in either greater Boston or eastern Virginia, respectively. Both websites purported to advertise nude Asian models for professional photography at upscale studios as a front for prostitution offered through appointments with women listed on their websites. The websites listed the height, weight and bust size of women available for appointments and depicted nude and/or semi-nude photographs of each. The women listed as available on the websites updated frequently, with updates to include “coming soon” or “open” to reflect an impending arrival of new women arriving in the area.
Each website allegedly described a verification process that interested sex buyers undertook to be eligible for appointment bookings– including requiring clients complete a form providing their full names, email address, phone number, employer and reference if they had one.
It is further alleged that the defendants maintained local brothel phone numbers which they used to communicate with verified customers and schedule appointments via text message. In these text message exchanges, the defendants allegedly sent customers a “menu” of available options at the brothel, including the women and sexual services available and the hourly rate. Additionally, the defendants allegedly texted customers directions to the brothel’s location – a high-end apartments – where they engaged in commercial sex with the women.
According to the charging documents, the defendants charged sex buyers a premium price for appointments with the women advertised on their websites, which ranged from approximately $350 to upwards of $600 per hour depending on the services and were paid in cash. The defendants allegedly concealed the proceeds of the prostitution network through depositing hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash proceeds into their personal bank accounts and peer-to-peer transfers. Additionally, it is alleged that the defendants regularly used hundreds of thousands of dollars of the cash proceeds from the prostitution business to purchase money orders (in values under an amount that would trigger reporting and identification requirements) to conceal the source of the funds. These money orders were then used to pay for rent and utilities at brothel locations in Massachusetts and Virginia.
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 investigation into the involvement of sex buyers is active and ongoing.
Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information regarding this case should contact USAMA.VictimAssistance@usdoj.gov.
The charge of conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Michael J. Krol, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New England; and Cambridge Police Commissioner Christine Elow made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Central District of California; the Eastern District of Virginia; the U.S. Postal Service; and the Watertown Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey E. Weinstein of the Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Raquelle Kaye, of the Asset Recovery Unit are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”-Massachusetts Department of Justice.