Putnam County residents Hong Ru Lin, age 50, and Kena Zhao, age 45, both of Putnam Valley, were arrested on Thursday, Sept. 14 for allegedly running a prostitution business out of numerous massage parlors in Putnam, Westchester, Queens, and Manhattan, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced.
According to federal officials, Lin and Zhao started running the prostitution ring in September 2020 and managed a roster of women who would perform sexual acts for customers at the massage parlors at which they worked.
The couple would communicate over cell phones and private chatrooms in order to manage and operate their prostitution business, officials said. They would also allegedly use cell phones to communicate with potential customers, assign particular employees to customers, monitor their business's income, and set performance goals for their employees.
Additionally, Zhao allegedly participated in at least one massage during which a sexual act was offered to a customer, according to officials.
Following their arrest, Lin and Zhao were both charged with violating the Travel Act and conspiring to violate the Travel Act. Each count carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.
US Attorney Damian Williams commented on the arrests, saying, "Today’s indictment makes clear that my office will continue to pursue those who operate illicit businesses, especially when they do so behind the closed doors of supposedly legitimate establishments.”
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