OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
APRIL 7, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HUMAN TRAFFICKING RESCUE PROJECT
MASSAGE PARLOR OWNER SENTENCED
FOR COERCING PROSTITUTION
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the owner of an Olathe, Kan., massage parlor pleaded guilty in federal court today to inducing persons to travel across state lines and national borders to engage in prostitution and illegal sexual services.
Hongmei Madole, also known as Hongmei Zhou, 33, of Olathe, Kan., was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando Gaitan this morning to two years and nine months in federal prison without parole, followed by five years of supervised release, and is subject to deportation. Madole, the owner of Asian Touch Massage in Olathe, is a native of China who is a conditional resident alien in the United States based upon marriage to a U.S. citizen.
On April 24, 2008, Madole pleaded guilty to recruiting Asian women to travel to the Kansas City area to work as masseuses at Asian Touch Massage. Between Nov. 1, 2005, and May 10, 2007, Madole facilitated the women’s travel by, among other things, booking and purchasing the flights for the women. Madole would fly the women in to Kansas City International Airport and then transport or have them transported to her business in Olathe.
Madole placed advertisements in the Kansas City publication, The Pitch, where she stated that “full body massages, table showers, saunas, and the best Asian female staff” were available at Asian Touch Massage. The female Asians who worked for Madole worked from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week and lived inside the massage parlor. Madole operated surveillance cameras inside the massage parlor to monitor her female Asian workers. Inside Asian Touch Massage, Madole had her female Asian workers perform sexual services on male patrons in exchange for money.
Madole is the first defendant to be sentenced among the four co-defendants who have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the operation of Asian massage parlors in Johnson County, Kan..
Madole had recently broken off from working for those co-defendants in order to start her own, smaller business. Madole remains on bond until the date of her self-surrender to begin serving her prison sentence. Co-defendants Ling Xu, also known as “Cherry,” 47, Zhong Yan Liu, also known as “Lucky,” 37, and Cheng Tang, also known as “Tom,” 23, all citizens of China residing in Overland Park, remain in custody awaiting sentencing.
Xu, Liu and Tang pleaded guilty on Aug. 21, 2008, to coercing persons to travel across state lines and national borders to engage in prostitution and illegal sexual services. They also pleaded guilty to money laundering by wiring more than $500,000 from the proceeds of that unlawful activity to China. Xu also pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft for using the passports and identification of her female workers in order to make most of those wire transfers. All three defendants remain in federal custody.
Xu and Liu are married to other persons, with whom they have limited contact, and were living together with Xu’s son, Tang. Xu, Liu and Tang were involved in operating China Rose Massage and China Villa Massage/Lin Dynasty in Overland Park and, at the times charges were filed, were preparing to open Victoria Square in Overland Park. They also operated a nearby residence that was utilized for prostitution.
Xu, the head of these businesses, is a native and citizen of China. She has resided in the United States under a legal status because she filed a asylum application upon her entry, which has not been adjudicated and has remained in “pending” status. Xu employed and paid Liu and Tang for their work and assistance in the commission of the offenses. Liu entered the United States on a visitors visa which expired in 2001. He remained in the United States illegally thereafter.
In a separate case resulting from this investigation, Wei Li Pang, also known as Linda, 37, a Chinese national with permanent resident alien status residing in Overland Park, Kan., pleaded guilty on Dec. 18, 2008, and awaits sentencing. Pang was the co-owner and operator of Asian Massage Health Center in Olathe, Kan., and the owner and operator of Oriental Massage in Mission, Kan.
From Feb. 2 to May 10, 2007, Pang recruited female Asians to travel to the Kansas City area to work as masseuses. Pang booked and purchased flights for the women and transported them from Kansas City International Airport (MCI) to the businesses. Pang also purchased and facilitated the purchase of supplies to be used in the prostitution activities, including the Saran Wrap that was used in lieu of condoms during the sexual acts in order to avoid law enforcement detection.
The female Asians worked for Pang from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, and lived inside the massage parlors. In some instances, Pang transported the women from inside the massage parlor to her residence at night. Pang utilized surveillance cameras inside the massage parlors to monitor the female Asian workers. Inside the massage parlors, Pang had her female Asian workers perform sexual services on male patrons in exchange for money.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Cordes. It was investigated by the Human Trafficking Rescue Project in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the police departments of Overland Park, Kan., Olathe, Kan., Mission, Kan., Lenexa, Kan., and Independence, Mo., and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at