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Brothels that allegedly hosted political, military leaders raked in ‘astounding’ amounts of money: prosecutors

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The three individuals charged with running brothels in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. that allegedly hosted high-profile clientele, including political and military leaders, brought in over a million dollars running the operation, a top federal investigator on the case said Wednesday.

According to an affidavit submitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts by the Department of Homeland Security, the alleged ringleaders of the operation, James Lee of California, along with Han Lee and Junmyung Lee of Massachusetts, made the chunk of change while running the service out of high-end apartments in Massachusetts and the Washington, D.C., suburbs since 2020.

The affidavit also said the defendants kept “impeccable” records of the operation showing the amounts it brought in.

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“I do not believe that HAN has legitimate employment but I do believe she has made an astounding amount of money running her prostitution business over the last several years,” DHS Special Agent Zachary Mitlitsky wrote, referencing the alleged ringleader of the operation.

The affidavit added that two of Han Lee’s bank accounts brought in $965,000, mostly in cash, from Dec. 2019 to Oct. 2023, and that she is believed to have access to other foreign accounts.

The DOJ charged the three earlier this month after busting the operation. They face maximum sentences of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines of up to $250,000 if convicted.

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Apartment building in Cambridge, Mass.

One of the Cambridge, Mass. apartments where customers were instructed to go. (DOJ and Google Maps)

According to prosecutors, the D.C.-area brothels were housed in apartment complexes in Fairfax and Tysons, Virginia, and hosted a variety of consorts from varying backgrounds. The defendants allegedly rented the apartments while paying for the prostitutes’ transportation and flights to the locations.

They also said the defendants advertised the prostitution for rates going between $350 and $600, and required solicitors to provide a plethora of identifying information, “not limited to, full name, birth date, credit card information, employer information, and websites,” as well as a “reference if they have one.”

“Some of these professional disciplines included, but are not limited to, politicians, pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, professors, lawyers, business executives, technology company executives, scientists, accountants, retail employees, and students,” prosecutors said.

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Text message sent to a customer

One of the 20 people interviewed by federal agents provided an example of a “menu” text message sent by a number associated with one of the alleged brothel websites. (DOJ)

One investigator said “there are potentially hundreds of yet to be identified customers that may include other professional disciplines not included in the list above,” but the DOJ has yet to give any further details on the clientele.

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Fox News’ Houston Keene and Adam Sabes contributed to this report.


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