Feds: Elected officials, doctors, lawyers among clients who paid for sex at illegal Mass. brothels

BOSTON — Elected officials, doctors, lawyers, professors, accountants, and military officers were among a group of “high-end” clients who paid for sex at illegal Massachusetts brothels that were recently busted by federal investigators, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

Acting United States Attorney for Massachusetts Joshua Levy announced the arrest of 41-year-old Han Lee, of Cambridge, 68-year-old James Lee, of California, and 30-year-old Junmyung Lee, of Dedham, who are all accused of running a “sophisticated” brothel network in Watertown, Cambridge, and in Eastern Virginia, where buyers paid up to $600 per hour for a wide array of advertised sex acts.

Levy said the establishments were promoted on two different websites: Bostontop10.com and BrowneyesgirlVA.blog.

The websites listed the height, weight, and bust size of women available for appointments and depicted nude and semi-nude photographs of each, Levy noted. The women were also listed as available on the websites and were updated frequently to include “coming soon” or “open” to reflect the impending arrival of new women arriving in the area.

“The three individuals behind these websites facilitated the movement of predominantly Asian women across the United States for sex trafficking and a commercial sex ring, exploiting them in the process,” Levy said. “This commercial sex ring was built on secrecy and exclusivity, catering to wealthy, well-connected clientele, and business was booming until today.”

It’s alleged that the prospective sex buyers in this scheme first had to respond to a survey on the websites that included providing their driver’s license photos, employer information, and credit card numbers, and they often paid a monthly fee to be part of the “exclusive club,” according to Levy.

When the alleged buyers were verified, they were sent a text message and allowed to place orders from sex workers, including logistics regarding duration, location, type of encounters, offered services, and a “menu” listing out women up for purchase, an affidavit unsealed in court on Wednesday indicated.

The menu included “photographs of women available that day,” their hourly rate, and directions to the location of the brothels, according to Levy.

The affidavit showed that three suspects charged in connection with the case regularly used hundreds of thousands of dollars of the cash proceeds from the prostitution business to purchase money orders in values under an amount that would trigger reporting and identification requirements to conceal the source of the funds.

These money orders were then used to pay for rent and utilities at brothel locations in Massachusetts and Virginia, the affidavit stated.

“These three individuals made hundreds of thousands of dollars running this ring,” Levy said. “This case goes back to the summer of 2020 when investigators identified several buyers.”

Levy alleged that the buyers included politicians, pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors who possess security clearances, professors, lawyers, business executives, technology company executives, scientists, accountants, retail employees, and students.

“Pick a profession. They’re probably represented in this case,” Levy said. “They are the men who fueled this commercial sex ring.”

The affidavit also stated, “There are potentially hundreds of yet-to-be-identified customers that may include other professional disciplines not included in the list above.”

The three arrests came after investigators executed search warrants at the following locations, according to the affidavit:

  • 80 Cambridgepark Drive, Unit 638, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 71 Legacy Boulevard, Unit 207, Dedham, Massachusetts
  • 1031 Park Circle Drive, Torrance, California
  • 90 Fawcett Street, Unit 109, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 90 Fawcett Street, Unit 435, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 90 Fawcett Street, Unit 530, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 66 Bond Street, Unit 221, Watertown, Massachusetts
  • 2985 District Avenue, Unit 245, Fairfax, Virginia
  • 1500 Westbranch Drive, Unit 649, Tysons, Virginia

Federal officials said they interviewed about 20 alleged sex buyers in connection with the yearslong investigation, and that those men described arranging to meet at various locations, including some of the “Target Locations” listed above.

The names of the buyers Levy referred to weren’t immediately available.

None of them have been charged, but Levy stressed that the investigation is in the early stages.

The charge of conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Read the full criminal complaint below:

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW