A Boston Police SUV.
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“Sophisticated” high-end brothels in greater Boston and eastern Virginia provided sex for pay to “elected officials, high tech and pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, professors,” and others, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
Three people were arrested in connection with operating the pricey sex shops, which required “interested sex buyers” to provide employer information and references before booking sessions with prostitutes, authorities said.
The brothels charged customers about $350 to “upwards of $600 per hour depending on the services and were paid in cash,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts, which is prosecuting the defendants.
The appointments with sex workers allegedly took place in “high-end apartment complexes” where the rent was as much as $3,664, authorities said.
The brothels were located in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts, as well as in Fairfax and Tysons, Virginia.
The Virginia locations are close to Washington, D.C., the U.S. capital, and are located in an area that is rife with government contractors, many of whom have government security clearances.
The Boston area is home to many pharmaceutical and tech firms, as well as top financial services and law firms, as well as leading American universities.
“The investigation into the involvement of sex buyers is active and ongoing,” the office said. In addition to politicians and military brass, business executives and government contractors, customers included “lawyers, scientists and accountants.”
Charged in the case were Han “Hana” Lee, 41, Junmyung Lee, 30, and 68-year-old James Lee.
Each was charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity.
“It is alleged that the defendants collectively established the infrastructure for brothels in multiple states which they used to persuade, induce and entice women – primarily Asian women – to travel to Massachusetts and Virginia to engage in prostitution,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Two websites used to advertise services by prostitutes who worked at the brothels include nude photos of women, as well as their physical dimensions.
“Here to serve our wonderful Boston friends,” one of the websites said, according to an image viewed by CNBC.
“Each website allegedly described a verification process that interested sex buyers undertook to be eligible for appointment bookings– including requiring clients complete a form providing their full names, email address, phone number, employer and reference if they had one,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Han Lee and Junmyung Lee, who both live in Massachusetts, were arrested Wednesday morning and are due to appear in Boston federal court later in the day. James Lee was arrested in California, where he resides, and will appear in Boston court at a later date.
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