November 10, 2023

USA: 3 Men Arrested Wednesday For Operating A High-End Brothel Network Sex Trafficking Ring Out Of Apartment Complexes In Massachusetts And Virginia. Collected $500K Covid Relief Funds Too.


Boston 25 News published November 8, 2023: Feds: Elected officials, doctors, lawyers among clients who paid for sex at illegal Mass. brothels. Elected officials, doctors, lawyers, professors, accountants, and military officers were among a group of “high-end” clients who paid for sex at illegal Massachusetts brothels that were recently busted by federal investigators, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.
WCVB Channel 5 Boston published November 10, 2023: Mass. sex trafficking survivor: 'I really thought I was going to die'. A survivor of sex trafficking shares her story and advocates for the naming of buyers after a major sex trafficking ring was busted in the Boston area, catering to politicians, military officers, and more.
WCVB Channel 5 Boston published November 9, 2023: 2 suspects in high-end brothel case appear in Boston federal court. Advocates working to combat human trafficking say the case is very disturbing.

CBS News, Boston local
written by Kristina Rex
Thursday November 9, 2023

BOSTON - Three people were arrested Wednesday for allegedly operating a high-end brothel network out of apartment complexes in Cambridge, Dedham, and Watertown, Massachusetts as well as Virginia.

"This commercial sex ring was built on secrecy and exclusivity, catering to wealthy and well-connected clientele," acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Joshua Levy said in a news conference in Boston.

Brothel clientele

"They are doctors, they are lawyers, they're accountants, they are executives at high-tech companies, pharmaceutical companies, they're military officers, government contractors, professors, scientists," Levy said of the brothels' customers. "Pick a profession, they're probably represented in this case."

Who was arrested

The three arrested - 30-year-old Junmyung Lee of Dedham, 41-year-old Han Lee of Cambridge, and 68-year-old James Lee of Torrance, California - are charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sex activity.

Han Lee and Junmyung Lee will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Boston. James Lee was arrested in California and will be brought to Boston for his arraignment. Levy said that, starting as far back as July 2020, the three operated multiple brothels in multiple states by enticing primarily Asian women to travel to Massachusetts and Virginia to be prostitutes.

How and where the sex ring operated

They allegedly operated through two websites, reporting to advertise nude Asian models for professional photography at upscale studios as a front for prostitution.

The three rented high-end apartments in Cambridge, Dedham, Watertown, and eastern Virginia and used them as brothels, prosecutors said. The rent for some apartments was as high as $3,664 a month.

Appointments cost $350 to $600 an hour and were paid in cash, according to Levy. Investigators said clients had to fill out a form with their name, work information, email address, phone number, and a reference before they could book appointments. Customers were then given a "menu" of options at the brothel.
From DOJ link: 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.
"Business is booming, until today," he told reporters, adding that the investigation is far from over.

If convicted, each of the three could face up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact
CBS Boston published November 9, 2023: High-end brothel defendant received $550,000 in COVID relief funds, prosecutors say. Federal agents believe one of the ring leaders received $550,000 in COVID relief funds. WBZ-TV’s Cheryl Fiandaca reports. WBZ-TV's Cheryl Fiandaca reports.

Boston25 News
written by Timothy Nazzaro, Boston 25 News Staff
Friday November 10, 2023

BOSTON — Newly obtained court documents allege one of the men charged in a high-end brothel ring reportedly based in Massachusetts illegally obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars through federal COVID-19 relief funds.

68-year-old James Lee, of California, is charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity for allegedly running a “sophisticated” brothel network in Watertown, Cambridge, and Eastern Virginia.

Additionally, prosecutors say Lee fraudulently received more than $500,000 in pandemic relief funds.

Authorities allege Lee and others rented at least 5 upscale apartments to be used as brothels where buyers paid up to $600 per hour for a wide array of advertised sex acts.

Elected officials, doctors, lawyers, professors, accountants, and military officers were among a group of “high-end” clients who paid for these services, according to federal investigators.

Search warrants were executed at the following locations, according to an affidavit:
  • 80 Cambridgepark Drive, Unit 638, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 71 Legacy Boulevard, Unit 207, Dedham, Massachusetts
  • 1031 Park Circle Drive, Torrance, California
  • 90 Fawcett Street, Unit 109, Cambridge, Massachusetts 
  • 0 Fawcett Street, Unit 435, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 90 Fawcett Street, Unit 530, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 66 Bond Street, Unit 221, Watertown, Massachusetts
  • 2985 District Avenue, Unit 245, Fairfax, Virginia
  • 1500 Westbranch Drive, Unit 649, Tysons, Virginia
Federal officials said they interviewed about 20 alleged sex buyers in connection with the yearslong investigation, and that those men described arranging to meet at various locations, including some of the “Target Locations” listed above.

The list of clientele for the illegal services has not been released.

Lee is expected to face a judge in Boston at a later date.

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