RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina says a woman has been sentenced to prison for making bribe payments to protect her illicit massage parlors in Cary and Wilmington from law enforcement scrutiny.
Xiang Yue Jin, of Flushing, New York, was sentenced to 15 months in prison, fined $50,000 and ordered to forfeit $90,000.
She pled guilty to the charge on March 31.
According to court documents, the arrest stemmed from a Department of Homeland Security investigation into illicit massage parlors in Durham, Raleigh and Wilmington that offered sexual services to clients.
During the investigation, a source set up a meeting between Jin and an undercover HSI agent posing as a corrupt federal agent, according to documents.
They say Jin — who owned a massage parlor in Cary and one in Wilmington — told the undercover agent she would pay him $2,000 a month to avoid law enforcement scrutiny.
From August 2020 until June 2021, records show Jin paid $18,000 in bribes to the undercover agent.
She also asked him to perform “checks” at competing businesses to scare away customers and allow her to buy more parlors at a cheaper price, and asked him to invest in additional parlors with her, according to court documents.
Investigators say they conducted surveillance at Jin’s parlors in April and May of 2021 and initiated traffic stops with customers coming in and out of the business.
They say almost every customer admitted to receiving sexual services from masseuses employed by Jin.
On June 16, 2021, HSI led a takedown across four federal districts where agents executed search warrants at eight different massage parlors and several homes.
Six people were arrested, according to reports.
The takedown included two illicit massage parlors — Cary and Wilmington — owned and operated by Jin, court documents say.
They say it also included an apartment in Cary that Jin leased.