2 charged with operating sex ring that catered to wealthy clients will remain behind bars for now

by Madison Thomas
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Two individuals accused of running an upscale prostitution network that served affluent and prominent clientele in Massachusetts and the Washington, D.C., suburbs will continue to be held in custody, as determined by a judge on Wednesday.

Han Lee and Junmyung Lee, the defendants in this case, opted for a voluntary detention order during a brief court hearing held two weeks subsequent to their apprehension. Magistrate Judge David Hennessy, situated in Worcester, Massachusetts, issued the order without bias, signifying that the defense attorneys may seek their release at a later date.

Following the hearing, the legal representatives of Han Lee and Junmyung Lee refrained from making any comments.

According to authorities, the illicit commercial sex ring operating in Massachusetts and northern Virginia catered to a client base comprising politicians, corporate executives, military officers, legal professionals, educators, and other well-connected individuals.

While prosecutors have refrained from publicly disclosing the identities of the clients or bringing charges against them, Acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Josh Levy, has affirmed that the investigation remains ongoing. He further emphasized the commitment of the prosecution to hold both the orchestrators of the scheme and those who generated the demand accountable.

Prosecutors have presented the argument that Han Lee and Junmyung Lee present a flight risk, citing their financial resources and lack of community ties. A special agent from Homeland Security Investigations, in court documents filed on Wednesday, contended that Han Lee amassed a substantial amount of money as the leader of the operation.

Allegedly, the operation was conducted through websites that falsely claimed to promote nude Asian models for professional photography services. The operators leased upscale apartments for use as brothels in Watertown and Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as Tysons and Fairfax, Virginia.

It has been asserted that Han Lee recruited women and managed the websites and brothels. In return for his services, Junmyung Lee, an employee of Han Lee, received monthly cash payments ranging from $6,000 to $8,000 for tasks such as scheduling appointments for clients and facilitating the arrival of women at the brothels, among other responsibilities, as stated by the agent.

Prosecutors contend that the operators generated significant revenue through this network, with clients reportedly paying upwards of $600 per hour for services. To give the appearance of legitimacy, Han Lee purportedly concealed over $1 million in proceeds from the operation by converting cash into money orders, among other methods.

During the course of their investigation, authorities confiscated cash, ledgers detailing the operations of the brothels, and phones believed to have been used for communication with clients from the defendants’ residences, as per court documents. The agent also noted that items indicative of Han Lee’s opulent spending habits, including luxury footwear and bags, were discovered at her residence.

James Lee, a third individual implicated in this case, was arrested in California and has been ordered to remain in custody by a judge there as he awaits trial. He has not yet made an appearance in a Massachusetts court.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Detention

What are Han Lee and Junmyung Lee accused of?

Han Lee and Junmyung Lee are accused of operating a high-end prostitution network catering to wealthy clients in Massachusetts and the Washington, D.C., suburbs.

Why are they being held in detention?

They are being held in detention because prosecutors argue that they pose a flight risk due to their financial resources and lack of community ties.

Who were the clients of this prostitution network?

Authorities have stated that the clients included politicians, corporate executives, military officers, lawyers, professors, and other well-connected individuals, but their identities have not been publicly disclosed, and they have not been charged.

How did the operation work?

The operation allegedly used websites falsely advertising nude Asian models for professional photography, rented high-end apartments as brothels, and recruited women to provide services to clients who paid high fees.

What is the current status of the investigation?

The investigation is ongoing, and prosecutors are committed to holding both the organizers of the prostitution ring and the clients accountable for their actions.

Is there any evidence against Han Lee and Junmyung Lee?

Authorities have seized cash, ledgers, and phones believed to be connected to the operation from their residences, along with items indicating lavish spending habits at Han Lee’s home.

What is the penalty they face if convicted?

The penalties they may face if convicted would depend on the charges brought against them, which could include various charges related to running an illegal prostitution network and money laundering.

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