Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Prostitution ring leader sentenced

February 06. 2014 11:38PM

By - elewis@civitasmedia.com

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SCRANTON — A Stroudsburg man who federal prosecutors identified as a prostitution ring leader using a network of message parlors, including one in Plains Township, was sentenced Thursday

Lih Kang Shen, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley to time served of 32 months and 28 days on a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Shen had pleaded guilty earlier.

Shen was one of five people indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2011 for their roles in a multistate prostitution ring at massage parlors, including Ichiban on North River Road in Plains Township and Oriental Body Works on Birney Avenue in Moosic, from October 2007 through May 2011.

Federal prosecutors said Shen and others transferred women, including at least 12 who were undocumented aliens from the Far East, to five massage parlors and spas in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.

According to the indictment, women from China, Korea and Taiwan were forced to perform sex acts in exchange for cash. The women were provided condoms and earned money from customers’ tips.

The indictment alleged women were transported by commercial airlines to Wilkes-Barre and were frequently moved among the massage parlors.

Shen was ordered to surrender property on Fox Chase Road in Stroudsburg, money seized during the investigation that amounted to about $138,674, a Rolex watch and a 2011 BMW 550i to authorities.

John Vincent Ferraro, 47, of Bartonsville, and Yu Cheng Lee, 47, of Tannersville, each pleaded guilty to racketeering and were sentenced to two years probation.

Young Ja Youn, 48, of Stroudsburg, pleaded guilty to coercion and enticement, and Chin Hsia Chen, 59, of Briarwood, N.Y., pleaded guilty to racketeering, according to federal court records.

Youn and Chen have not been sentenced.

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