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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 16, 2016

Massage Parlor Owner Sentenced for Sex Trafficking of Illegal Aliens

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Hui Li, 47, of Columbus was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for promoting prostitution involving aliens unauthorized to work in the United States through massage parlors she owned in Columbus and Dublin, Ohio.

Benjamin C. Glassman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Marlon V. Miller, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and members of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, announced the sentence handed down today by U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.  

Documents filed with the court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office prior to sentencing say that Li used online classified ad websites to advertise massage parlors she owned. Li transported Asian female employees to and from her Columbus massage parlors on a daily basis. The employees worked for 11 to 12 hours per day, seven days a week. Interviews of the employees and online postings revealed that sexual favors were being performed at the massage parlors.

Li pleaded guilty on November 18, 2015 to one count of travelling in interstate commerce to promote unlawful business enterprise and one count of hiring aliens unauthorized to work in the United States.

Li, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was also sentenced to serve two years under court supervision after completing her prison term.

Acting U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the Ohio Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes authorities from the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Columbus Division of Police, the Powell Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office and the Delaware County Prosecutor's Office. He also commended Assistant United States Attorney Heather A. Hill who represented the United States in this case.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated September 16, 2016