2 charged in wealthy client sex ring in Massachusetts stay jailed | Inquirer News

2 charged in wealthy client sex ring in Massachusetts stay jailed

/ 12:37 PM November 23, 2023

2 charged in wealthy client sex ring stay jailed

Planters rest near an entrance to apartments, in Watertown, Mass., Monday, Nov. 13, 2023. Three people have been charged with running a sophisticated commercial sex ring in Massachusetts and eastern Virginia that catered to well-connected clients such as elected officials and military officers, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday. According to an affidavit filed in federal court, the address is connected to those accused of operating the sex ring. AP

WORCESTER, Massachusetts — Two people accused of operating a high-end brothel network with wealthy and prominent clients in Massachusetts and the Washington, D.C., suburbs will remain behind bars for now, a judge said on Wednesday.

Lawyers for Han Lee and Junmyung Lee agreed to a voluntary order of detention during a brief court hearing two weeks after their arrest. Magistrate Judge David Hennessy in Worcester, Massachusetts, entered the order without prejudice, which means defense lawyers can move for their release at a later date.


Their attorneys declined to comment after the hearing.


Authorities have said the commercial sex ring in Massachusetts and northern Virginia catered to politicians, company executives, military officers, lawyers, professors and other well-connected clients.

Prosecutors have not publicly named any of the buyers and they have not been charged. But acting Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Josh Levy has said the investigation is ongoing and that prosecutors are committed to holding accountable both those who ran the scheme and those who fueled the demand.

Prosecutors have argued Han Lee and Junmyung Lee pose a risk of flight, pointing to their financial resources and lack of ties to the community. A Homeland Security Investigations agent said in court papers filed Wednesday that authorities believe Han Lee made an “astounding” amount of money as the leader of the operation.

It was run using websites that falsely claimed to advertise nude Asian models for professional photography, prosecutors allege. The operators rented high-end apartments to use as brothels in Watertown and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Tysons and Fairfax, Virginia, prosecutors said.

Authorities say Han Lee recruited women and maintained the websites and brothels. She paid Junmyung Lee, who was one of her employees, between $6,000 to $8,000 in cash per month in exchange for his work booking appointments for the buyers and bringing women to the brothels, among other things, the agent wrote.

Prosecutors believe the operators raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars through the network, where men paid upwards of $600 per hour for services. Officials say Han Lee concealed more than $1 million in proceeds from the ring by converting the cash into money orders, among other things, to make it look legitimate.


Authorities seized from their apartments cash, ledgers detailing the activities of the brothels and phones believed to be used to communicate with the sex customers, according to court papers. The agent wrote investigators at Han Lee’s home also found items indicative of her “lavish and extravagant spending habits,” including luxury shoes and bags.

A third person charged in the case, James Lee, was arrested in California and was ordered by a judge there to remain behind bars while he awaits trial. He has yet to appear in court in Massachusetts.


US says prostitution ring counted politicians, tech execs, lawyers as clients

BI intercepts 10 Filipino ‘sex ring’ victims

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: Crime, sex, USA

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.