Thursday, December 20, 2018

一華裔女子走私人口賣淫、洗錢 法官判入獄五年

(Boston Orange)麻州總檢察官奚莉(Maura Healey)(20)日宣佈,華裔女子陳秀(譯音,Xiu J. Chen)走私人口賣淫、洗錢,罪證確鑿,法官判入獄五年。
歷經5日審訊後,米斗塞郡(Middlesex)高等法院法官Bruce R. Henry1219日判38歲的陳秀犯有走私人口賣淫,經營妓院,洗錢等罪狀, 應關入麻州獄五年又一天。出獄後還有3年緩刑,期間不得和受害者或共同被告Ronald Keplin聯繫,也不准在健身房或按摩院等場所工作。

Victims Slept in Overcrowded Conditions, often on Massage Tables or Mattresses on the Floor

WOBURN – A Medford woman has been found guilty and sentenced to five years in state prison for running an extensive human trafficking and money laundering operation, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. The criminal enterprise included illegal activity in Bedford, Billerica, Medford, Reading, Wilmington and Woburn.

On Dec. 3, after a five-day trial, a Middlesex Superior Court jury found Xiu J. Chen, 38, guilty of Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude (6 counts), Conspiracy to Traffic Persons for Sexual Servitude (6 counts), Deriving Support from Prostitution (5 counts), Keeping a House of Ill Fame (5 counts) and Money Laundering (4 counts).

On Wednesday, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Bruce R. Henry sentenced Chen to five years to five years and a day in state prison, with three years of probation after completion of her sentence, during which she cannot have contact with the victims or her codefendant, Ronald Keplin, and cannot work in bodywork or massage establishments.

“This defendant operated an extensive and lucrative criminal enterprise by setting up massage parlors as fronts for human trafficking and bringing victims to Massachusetts to engage in sex,” said AG Healey. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute those who exploit and prey on others to make a profit.”
Chen was arrested in May 2013 after an investigation by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from various local police departments. Chen was indicted by a Middlesex Superior Grand jury in June 2013.

Chen operated multiple businesses portrayed as massage parlors that were in fact fronts for an extensive human trafficking and money laundering operation. Chen characterized and advertised these businesses as providing “bodyworks” services. Those businesses were:

·         Bedford Asian Bodywork a/k/a Bedford Wellness Center – Bedford, MA
·         Shrine Spa a/k/a Billerica Bodywork a/k/a Boston Chinese Club – Billerica, MA
·         Mystic Health Center – Medford, MA
·         Body Wellness Center – Reading, MA
·         Asian Bodywork a/k/a Woburn Wellness Bodywork – Woburn, MA

The AG’s Office alleges that Keplin, 63, of Woburn, ran Body Language in Wilmington. Chen was convicted of trafficking victims at that location. 

During the course of the investigation, authorities developed evidence indicating that Chen was the leader of this operation and, through the businesses, offered commercial sexual activity between women and clients in exchange for a fee.
Chen recruited the women from New York to work in the parlors, advertised commercial sexual activity online, set up the appointments for all locations, and managed the financial aspects of the organization.

Chen arranged for overcrowded housing where the victims typically slept on mattresses on the floor, or in some instances on the massage tables at the businesses. She also helped facilitate the daily transportation of the women to and from the businesses.

Chen received the majority of the profits from these sexual encounters and used that money to perpetuate the criminal enterprise, including supporting the daily operations of the businesses like paying rent, utility bills, and for advertisements. Chen also hid excess cash in the some of the parlors, and police found over $300,000 cash in Chen’s home. 
The case against Keplin is ongoing.
This case was handled by the AG’s dedicated Human Trafficking Division, which focuses on policy, prevention and criminal prosecutions. Through that division, the AG’s Office has charged more than 40 individuals in connection with human trafficking since the law went into effect in 2012. AG Healey has proposed legislationto close the current “bodyworks loophole” in Massachusetts. 

The trial was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Nancy Rothstein and Kristy Lavigne, through the AG’s Human Trafficking Division, with assistance from Victim Witness Advocate Rebecca Quigley, Director of the AG’s Financial Investigations Division Sallyann Nelligan, Digital Evidence Laboratory Analyst Kenneth McCarthy, Paralegal Sindhu Kadhiresan and Special Assistant Attorney General Samuel Parnell. The investigation was conducted by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and investigators with the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure

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