WASHINGTON - A man from Queens, N.Y., pleaded guilty today to attempting to recruit a Korean woman whom he believed to be a minor to work as a prostitute, the Justice Department announced today.
Do Hyup Bae pleaded guilty to charges relating to the operation of a network of over 25 Korean-owned brothels that were located throughout the northeastern part of the United States, including New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Several of these brothels were located in Queens, N.Y.
“This case illustrates the complexity and scope of human trafficking operations,” said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to investigating and prosecuting those who would profit from the systematic abuse of others.”
According to the superseding indictment, the brothels, which were operated under the cover of legitimate businesses, typically employed between two and eight prostitutes, the majority of whom were Korean nationals who had entered the country on tourist visas. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution payments for human trafficking charges.
The prosecution of individuals involved in human trafficking is a top priority of the Justice Department. In the last six fiscal years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, has increased by six-fold the number of human trafficking cases filed in court, compared to the previous six years.
The case was investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Solette Magnelli of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Chen of the Eastern District of New York.