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Press Release

Thai Woman Sentenced for Her Role in International Sex Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Sumalee Intarathong also known as Alice Spencer Warren has been sentenced for her role in a large-scale international Thai sex trafficking organization, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger. 

According to court documents, the criminal organization conspired to make money by compelling hundreds of women from Bangkok, Thailand, to engage in commercial sex acts in various cities across the United States. Before her arrest in Belgium on August 5, 2016, Intarathong, 62, served as a visa broker for the sex trafficking organization. Each trafficked victim was “owned” by Intarathong and her co-conspirators, until the victim could repay an exorbitant “bondage debt” of between $40,000 and $60,000. Intarathong and other co-conspirators arranged for victims to travel from Thailand to the United States and placed the victims in a house of prostitution somewhere in the United States.

According to court documents, Intarathong and other co-conspirators in the organization engaged in widespread visa fraud to facilitate the international transportation of the victims. Members of the criminal organization assisted the victims in obtaining fraudulent visitor visas and travel documents. As a part of obtaining visa documents, members of the criminal conspiracy gathered personal information from the victims, including the location of the victims’ families in Thailand. This information was later used to threaten victims who became non-compliant or tried to flee the organization in the United States.

One of Intarathong’s victims wrote to the Court: “I am a victim of human trafficking and suffered psychologically because I was afraid that I would be arrested or the traffickers would come hurt or kill me. I was so scared even after the defendants in my case were arrested because I knew them directly. I did not dare go outside and was not able to sleep for a long time.”  That victim had to engaged in commercial sex acts with “about seven to eleven customers per day” until she paid off her bondage debt.

According to court documents, the organization dealt primarily in cash and engaged in rampant and sophisticated money laundering in order to promote and conceal illegal profits. Throughout the course of the conspiracy the criminal organization has moved tens of millions of dollars in illegal proceeds from the United States to Thailand and elsewhere.

Intarathong was arrested in Belgium in August 2016 and remained in custody there until she was extradited to the United States in February 2021. On November 29, 2022, she pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering. Intarathong, the last of the 38 defendants sentenced in the trafficking scheme, was sentenced today before Senior Judge Donovan W. Frank to time served since her arrest in 2016 and $500,000 in restitution to the victims. In addition, Intarathong agreed to be removed from the United States to Belgium or Thailand and will be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to carry out the Court’s order.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, Diplomatic Security Service, St. Paul Police Department, Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, and Cook County (Illinois) Sheriff’s Office, with the support of the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center (IOC-2). The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided critical assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from Belgium.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melinda A. Williams and Laura M. Provinzino prosecuted the case with the assistance of the DOJ Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit and the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section.

Updated April 24, 2023

Civil Rights
Human Trafficking