Local women face Federal immigration, money laundering
and prostitution charges
By Adam Martin, Bay City News Service
February 24, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) -- U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan announced
today that a Federal grand jury indicted two women Feb. 16 on
immigration, money laundering and prostitution charges for allegedly
operating a San Francisco brothel.
Yon Suk Pang, 56, of San Francisco and Hyon Chu Yim, 45, of San
Leandro face 74 Federal charges each, including eight counts of
alien harboring for prostitution, another eight counts of alien
harboring for commercial advantage or financial gain, and 58 charges
of money laundering.
The two women allegedly operated a brothel known as Suk Hee Oriental
Massage at 483 Broadway St. in San Francisco, according to the
U.S. attorney's office.
The sealed indictment was opened Thursday.
Yim was arrested Wednesday at her San Leandro home, according
to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Pang was previously charged as
a co-defendant with Young Joon Yang, 37, who is thought to be
the central figure in a massive prostitution ring. Yang was charged
with sex trafficking, which carries a possible life sentence.
In June 2005, federal agents raided 10 alleged brothels and massage
parlors, removing 100 Korean women from locations in San Francisco
and Emeryville. On July 1, federal prosecutors charged 29 people
in connection with those raids.
According to the grand jury indictment, "it was part of
the conspiracy that Pang and Yim employed alien females to work
as prostitutes at Suk Hee.''
Pang is accused of paying brokers to deliver the females to her,
then making those women work at Suk Hee to pay off the costs of
the trafficking fees, according to the indictment.
"It was further part of the conspiracy that Pang and Yim
housed alien female employees in a unit at 1046 Kearny St., San
Francisco, which was adjacent to Suk Hee, and which the females
reached by climbing through a window from Suk Hee,'' the indictment
states. Pang and Yim allegedly collected payments for that housing,
keeping the women's passports from them until they were out of
Yim and Pang are the latest suspects to be charged as part of
an ongoing Federal investigation known as Gilded Cage, being conducted
by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, the San Francisco Police Department, the Internal
Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic
Security Service, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
The charges against Pang and Yim carry prison sentences of five
to 20 years each, as well as fines, but Macaulay said it is too
early to predict what kind of punishment the two women will ultimately
face if convicted.
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