Thursday, January 23, 2020

TWO FOUND GUILTY, SENTENCED TO STATE PRISON IN CONNECTION WITH SELLING WOMEN FOR SEX AT BROTHELS

TWO FOUND GUILTY, SENTENCED TO STATE PRISON IN CONNECTION WITH SELLING WOMEN FOR SEX AT BROTHELS
Jury Delivered Guilty Verdict after 11-Day Trial

BOSTON – Two individuals have been sentenced to five to six years each in state prison after a jury found them guilty on human trafficking and money laundering charges for trafficking women for sex at brothels throughout Greater Boston, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. The individuals were charged after a joint investigation and takedown by the AG’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Division.

On Jan. 22, after an 11-day trial, a Suffolk Superior Court jury found Pingxia Fan, age 42, of Boston, and Timothy Hayes, age 53, of Gloucester, guilty on various charges in connection with trafficking women for sex at brothels in Boston, Cambridge, North Reading, and Quincy.

“These defendants made hundreds of thousands of dollars by exploiting numerous victims who were confined to the brothels day and night,” said AG Healey. “This case is a reminder that human trafficking exposes people to unimaginable trauma and abuse.”

“In a month the FBI proudly dedicates to shining a light on the prevention of human trafficking, we are especially gratified that Pingxia Fan and Timothy Hayes, who exploited women for personal profit through sexual servitude, will now answer for these appalling injustices,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Human trafficking respects no boundaries where age, gender or nationality are concerned. What happened to the victims in this case deserves society’s outrage, just as investigating all forms of this criminal activity deserves to be a top priority of law enforcement.”

The defendants were found guilty on the following charges:

Pingxia Fan, age 42, of Boston
Trafficking Persons for Sexual Servitude (5 counts)
Deriving Support from Prostitution (5 counts)
Keeping House of Ill Fame (4 counts)
Money Laundering (3 counts)

Timothy Hayes, age 53, of Gloucester
Trafficking Persons for Sexual Servitude (5 counts)
Deriving Support from Prostitution (5 counts)
Keeping House of Ill Fame (4 counts)
Money Laundering (3 counts)

Fan and Hayes were each sentenced by Judge Janet Sanders today in Suffolk Superior Court to five to six years in state prison, with three years of probation to serve upon their release.

Fan and Hayes were arrested in May 2017 after an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Division Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Human Trafficking Division. They were later indicted by a Statewide Grand Jury in June 2017.

The AG’s Office began an investigation after a referral from the North Reading Police Department, which did an initial investigation into a brothel in North Reading and offered extensive assistance in this case.
           
The investigation revealed that Fan and Hayes ran a sex trafficking and money laundering operation involving multiple brothels—two in Quincy, and single locations in Boston, Cambridge, and North Reading. The defendants used multiple vehicles to transport sex trafficking victims, money, and supplies.

Fan and Hayes arranged for women to meet with men at the brothel locations to provide commercial sexual services in exchange for cash. Most of the money from these encounters went to the defendants, which they laundered into the business to perpetuate the daily operations of the criminal enterprise.

AG Healey has a dedicated Human Trafficking Division that focuses on policy, prevention and prosecution and includes a team of specialized prosecutors, victim advocates and Massachusetts State Police troopers who handle high impact, multi-jurisdictional human trafficking investigations and prosecutions across the state. Through the Human Trafficking Division, the AG’s Office has charged more than 60 individuals in connection with human trafficking since the law was passed.
The FBI Boston Division’s Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force is one of 12 DOJ-funded task forces in the country with the mission to combat sex and labor trafficking. Nationally, the FBI participates in over 100 human trafficking task forces and working groups. The FBI believes in a victim-centered approach to human trafficking investigations, where identifying and stabilizing victims of this heinous crime is equally as important as providing resources to help them.

This case was tried by Assistant Attorneys General Nancy Rothstein of the AG’s Human Trafficking Division and Gretchen Brodigan, of the AG’s White Collar and Public Integrity Division, with assistance from Division Chief Nikki Antonucci and Victim Advocate Lia Panetta, both from the AG’s Victim Services Division, Investigator Jillian Petruzziello of the AG’s Financial Investigations Division, Paralegal Sindhu Kadhiresan from the Human Trafficking Division, and Assistant Attorney General Sue Reardon from the AG’s Appeals Division. It was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Human Trafficking Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Division Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force, with assistance from the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab. The Massachusetts State Police and the Boston, Cambridge, Gloucester, Newton, North Reading, Quincy and Revere Police Departments also provided assistance.

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