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Press Release

Two Women Sentenced to Prison for Illicit Massage Parlor Operation and Attempted Bribe of Federal Agents

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

NEW BERN, N.C. – Two women from Flushing, New York and Wilmington, North Carolina were sentenced today to combined 33 months in prison for their management and involvement in an illicit massage parlor operation between August of 2020 and June of 2021. Ming Ji Cao, sentenced to 18 months and a $1000 fine, and Og Bun Park, sentenced to 15 months and a $750 fine, previously pled guilty to the charges. Both women were also sentenced to three years of supervised release following their release from prison.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Cao and Park, were arrested as part of a broad undercover operation for attempting to bribe law enforcement officers to provide protection for their massage parlors in Cary and Wilmington, where sexual services were being offered.

The case arose from an investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of other agencies, which determined that, in addition to the massages, clients were also obtaining sexual services at the parlors. Additionally, an HSI agent began going undercover to meet with Cao, Park, and other individuals who provided bribes to the agent, believing that the bribes would provide protection from law enforcement inquiries at the various massage parlors.

On June 16, 2021, HSI, with the assistance of numerous law enforcement agencies, led a coordinated takedown across four different federal districts that included the execution of search warrants at eight different massage parlors, multiple residences, and the arrest of six individuals, including Cao and Park. Cao and Park are each responsible for coordinating several thousand dollars in bribery payments.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Department of Homeland Security–Homeland Security Investigations led the investigation with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, the Cary Police Department, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, the Wilmington Police Department, the Horry County Police Department, the United States Marshals Service, and other state and local investigators , and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan M. Stephany  prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:21-cr-00079-Fl.

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Updated February 10, 2023