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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

San Mateo Resident Pleads Guilty To Operating A Bay Area Prostitution Racketeering Enterprise

Sex Workers Recruited from Overseas

SAN FRANCISCO –Allen Fong pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday for his role in an international prostitution racketeering enterprise announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Ryan Spradlin.  The defendant acknowledged being part of an enterprise that recruited women and facilitated their travel and entry into the United States to work as prostitutes in brothels located in the Bay Area.

Fong, 59, of San Mateo, is one of ten defendants named in a broad-ranging indictment filed October 16, 2014.  Fong pleaded guilty to all 32 counts charged in the indictment.  In pleading guilty, Fong admitted that, from at least August 2006 through July 2014, he was involved in the day-to-day operations of an ongoing racketeering enterprise that recruited women from overseas to work in brothels located in Bay Area cities, including Foster City, Cupertino, San Bruno, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.  His activities included renting apartments for use as brothels; arranging for telecommunications services for advertising and arranging appointments for sexual activity between prostitutes and their customers; and transferring proceeds in amounts of thousands of dollars from the United States to Singapore.  Fong also admitted he met a co-conspirator at the San Francisco International Airport who was traveling from Singapore to the United States and drove her to an enterprise brothel where she was housed and worked as a prostitute. 

In all, the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d); one count of conspiracy to use interstate and foreign commerce to promote prostitution in aid of a racketeering enterprise, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 and 1952(a)(3); eleven counts of use of interstate commerce to promote prostitution in aid of a racketeering enterprise, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1952(a)(3) and 2; one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956(h) and 1956(a)(1)(A)(i); nine counts of substantive money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(i) and 2; one count of conspiracy to transport funds from the United States to a foreign country to promote unlawful activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956(h) & 1956(a)(2)(A); seven counts of transporting funds from the United States to a foreign country to promote unlawful activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956(a)(2)(A) and 2; and one count of conspiracy to transport an individual in interstate in interstate and foreign commerce for prostitution and importation of alien for immoral purpose, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 & 2421, and 8 U.S.C. § 1328.

Fong is scheduled to be sentenced by the Honorable Richard Seeborg, U.S. District Judge, in San Francisco on October 25, 2016, at 2:30. p.m. The defendant is facing the following maximum statutory penalties for the offenses to which he has pleaded guilty:

Statute

Offense

Maximum Penalty

18 U.S.C. §  1962(d)

Conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity

20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross profits or other proceeds

18 U.S.C. §§ 371 and

1952(a)(3)

Conspiracy to use facility in interstate commerce to promote prostitution

5 years’ imprisonment

$250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or gross loss, whichever is greater

18 U.S.C. §§ 1952(a)(3)

and 2

Use of facility in interstate commerce to promote prostitution

5 years’ imprisonment

$250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or gross loss, whichever is greater

18 U.S.C. §§ 1956(h) and 1956(a)(1)(A)(i)

Conspiracy to launder monetary instruments

20 years’ imprisonment

$500,000 fine or twice the value of the monetary instrument or funds involved in the transmission or transfer, whichever is greater

18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(i) and 2

Money laundering

20 years’ imprisonment

$500,000 fine or twice the value of the monetary instrument or funds involved in the transmission or transfer, whichever is greater

18 U.S.C. §§  1956(h) and 1956(a)(2)(A)

Conspiracy to transport funds from the United States to a foreign country to promote unlawful activity

20 years’ imprisonment

$500,000 fine or twice the value of the monetary instrument or funds involved in the transmission or transfer, whichever is greater

18 U.S.C. §§ 371 & 2421; 8 U.S.C. § 1328

Conspiracy to transport an individual in interstate and foreign commerce for prostitution and importation of alien for immoral purpose

10 years’ imprisonment and $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or gross loss, whichever is greater.

In addition to prison terms and fines, assessments, terms of supervised release, and forfeitures may be imposed; however, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Douglas is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Lance Libatique.  Assistant United States Attorney David Countryman is handling aspects of the forefeiture matters.  The prosecution is the result of a joint investigation by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations San Francisco Field Office, and the San Mateo Police Department.  

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Updated July 7, 2016