The Justice Department has announced the arrests of individuals connected to a high-end brothel network that was used by elected officials, military officers, government contractors with security clearances, lawyers, doctors and more.
It is reported that the ringleaders had set up two websites to advertise Asian ‘models’ for photography purposes as a cover.
“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.
The Department of Justice has charged the following defendants with conspiring to unlawfully persuade and entice individuals to travel for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual conduct.
- 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 have been operating an interstate prostitution network with multiple brothels since July 2020 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.”
Investigative reporter Paul Sperry has reported that appointments booked on a ‘cash only’ basis may have been part of a Chinese espionage plot targeting high-tech government contracting centers such as Cambridge and Tysons Corner, costing between $350 to $600 per hour.
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 has not disclosed the client list, however, it is expected that well known names will be revealed.
The clients were obligated to provide their full names and other identifying information, so the Department of Justice has the necessary records.
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.