Three individuals were accused by US authorities on Wednesday of operating a network of upscale brothels out of apartment buildings in northern Virginia and the greater Boston area, catering to a clientele that included military personnel, academics, attorneys, computer and pharmaceutical CEOs, and government leaders.
The “wealthy and well-connected clientele” who allegedly paid up to $600 per hour for sex with primarily Asian women who were being trafficked in, were not immediately identified by federal authorities in Boston.
The accused owners of the brothels, James Lee, 68, of California, and Han Lee, 41, and Junmyung Lee, 30, of Massachusetts, were detained and accused of planning to force and lure women to travel to participate in illicit sexual activities.
Acting U.S. Attorney Josh Levy stated that the investigation was “just getting started” and that following the execution of search warrants on properties in Massachusetts, Virginia, and California, law enforcement was gathering more evidence.
The defendants, under the direction of Han Lee, allegedly operated as brothels out of upscale apartment buildings in Fairfax and Tysons, Virginia, as well as Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts.
Prosecutors stated that after submitting their driver’s license photographs and employers’ identities as part of a screening process, clients of two websites that offered appointments with Asian women were vetted. According to Levy, members of the brothel network “often paid a monthly fee to be part of this illicit club.” Authorities estimated that the network may have had hundreds of clients – including politicians, company CEOs, physicians, military personnel, educators, attorneys, business executives, scientists, and accountants.