Military officers are among the alleged clients of a sprawling prostitution ring that federal prosecutors say asked potential clients for IDs, credit card numbers and employer information in order to book “modeling shoots.”
Prosecutors charged three men Wednesday with operating a prostitution network with clients that included “elected officials, high tech and pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, professors, attorneys, scientists and accountants, among others,” according to a release from the Department of Justice.
No military officers or defense contractors were named in the indictment and no arrests of clients were announced.
The three men, all of Korean heritage, are alleged to have turned luxury apartments into “multiple brothels” in suburbs of Boston and Washington D.C., and enticed mostly women of Asian heritage into sex work there, authorities say.
The D.C. brothels, authorities say, were in Fairfax and Tysons, Virginia. Those two suburbs of Washington sit just minutes from the Pentagon and are home to hundreds of defense contracting firms. The Boston locations were in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts. Several major defense contractors like Raytheon and BAE maintain major facilities nearby.
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To book an appointment, which one website named in the indictment referred to as a “modeling shoot,” prosepective clients had to fill out a form providing their full names, email address, phone number, employer and reference if they had one, according to the indictment.
The ring ran through two websites, bostontopten10.com — which has been seized by federal authorities — and the still-active browneyesgirlsva.blog. The second site refers to itself as ‘BEG’ and includes photo galleries of partially undressed women.
The indictments do not indicate that the ring actively sought military or defense-related clients, only that military officers and cleared contractors were customers. The charges announced do not relate to intelligence or espionage.
The three men arrested were Han Lee, 41, of Cambridge, James Lee, 68, of Torrance, Calif, Junmyung Lee, 30, of Dedham, Mass. The workers who the men employed charged between $350 and $600 per hour. The FBI’s Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit found the men “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 men also engaged in elaborate money laundering schemes to hide the hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash the scheme generated.
They face charges of conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity which provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
The arrests are not the first time military officers have been connected with prostitution rings.
A Marine colonel was busted in 2017 in Florida for soliciting prostitutes in “Operation No Tricks, No Treats” and an Air Force-employed civilian was charged with arranging a job for a sex worker in a military propulsion lab so he could have sex with her.
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