Indictment Rocks DC: Politicians in Brothel Scandal

Authorities have apprehended three individuals on charges of orchestrating a “high-end brothel network” that operated since 2020, serving a clientele that allegedly included elected officials and military officers, according to a new indictment.

Federal prosecutors disclosed the arrest of Han Lee, 41; James Lee, 68; and Junmyung Lee, 30. They stand accused of running an “interstate prostitution network,” managing multiple brothels located in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts, as well as in Fairfax and Tysons, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.

The defendants purportedly advertised this prostitution network on two websites, offering appointments with women in either Boston or Eastern Virginia. These websites provided explicit details about each woman’s physical attributes along with nude and semi-nude photographs. Prospective clients were required to complete a verification process on the websites, which involved submitting personal information such as their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and employers.

Once verified and after conversing with the brothel via phone, individuals seeking services allegedly arranged meetings at designated “Target Locations,” often high-end apartments. The prostitution services were reportedly priced between $350 and over $600 per hour.

Prosecutors assert that the brothel network catered to customers from various professions, including “politicians, pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors with security clearances, professors, lawyers, business executives, technology company executives, scientists, accountants, retail employees, and students.” However, these customers have not been named as investigations into their actions are ongoing.

One of the websites involved in the operation initially purported to advertise nude models for professional photography in upscale studios but is suspected by prosecutors of being a “front” for prostitution. It outlined a verification process for “1st time photographers,” which, based on customer interviews by federal agents, included sending a “‘selfie’ photo and/or a driver’s license photo, and submitting credit card information.” Following verification, customers allegedly scheduled appointments and paid for services at upscale apartments.

According to the indictment, the defendants are accused of concealing the proceeds from the prostitution network by depositing substantial sums of cash into their personal bank accounts and conducting peer-to-peer transfers. They also allegedly used hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase money orders below reporting thresholds to obscure the source of funding. These money orders were employed to cover rent and utilities at the brothel locations, some of which reportedly incurred costs as high as $3,664.