BUFFALO, N.Y. - Feng Yang Chen, 41, LiangLiang Guo, 31, and Cheng Qi Li, 28, have all been charged with conspiracy to violate the Mann Act and the Travel Act related to operating an interstate prostitution business.
Police say, between March 2011 and March 2016, the defendants operated their own multi-state prostitution business. They used A website to promote and expand their business to states across the country including: New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.
Two of the defendants, Chen and Li, operated a call center in Flushing, Queens scheduling appointments between prostitutes and clients. The other defendant, Guo, drove the victims to hotels and collected the proceeds. Of the meeting places commercial sex acts took place, two of them are in Western New York: Tonawanda, NY and Henrietta, NY.
The defendants employed 12 victims who traveled state to state to perform sexual acts. The indictment is seeking the forfeiture of total proceeds from the business which totals $476,354.74. The indictment is also seeking the two call center properties located in Flushing, NY, a 2012 Porsche Cayenne and multiple cell phones, laptops and iPads.
“While the sexual exploitation of another is a criminal act that victimizes the person exploited, a criminal enterprise such as this, which provides profits to those who orchestrate such exploitation, is particularly pernicious,” said Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy.
On top of the previous charges, Feng Yang Chen was also charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. Chen faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life. Guo and Li face a minimum of 5 years in prison.
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