Phoenix – Attorney General Mark Brnovich today announced Special Agents with the Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force served 6 search warrants in connection with an illegal criminal enterprise involving Asian massage parlors suspected of operating as houses of prostitution in the Phoenix metro area. The focus of the Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force is identifying organizations involved in human sex trafficking.
"This office has made it a priority to go after human sex trafficking organizations," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "Our Special Agents will continue to aggressively uncover and dismantle these types of illicit criminal enterprises."
The warrants were served at the following locations:
- Shangri-La Spa 6670 W. Cactus Road #A-101, Glendale, AZ
- Water Wood Massage 10806 N. 71st Place #B, Scottsdale, AZ
- Enjoy Massage 4306 W. Northern Avenue, Glendale, AZ
- 1825 E. Marco Polo Road, Phoenix, AZ
- 13 W. Flynn Lane, Phoenix, AZ
- 5227 W. Pontiac Drive, Glendale, AZ
Five suspects were arrested:
- Huiqin Dai, 47 yrs old
- Brian Groff, 50 yrs old
- Fengqin Ye, 57 yrs old
- Min Yu, 45 yrs old
- Ding Hengxia, 55 yrs old
The five suspects were booked on charges of: operating a house of prostitution, illegal control of an enterprise, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit these felony violations. Note: Groff was not booked on money laundering charges. Two additional suspects are outstanding.
The suspects are alleged to have laundered the proceeds generated from their prostitution activities through the US banking system, bulk carrying US currency to China, then having the money wired back into US banking accounts. To date, Special Agents believe these suspects are responsible for laundering millions of dollars earned through these illegal enterprises since 2009.
The Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force consists of Special Agents with the Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix Police Department, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Troopers. The goal of the task force is to develop investigative strategies to disrupt and dismantle illegal enterprises including human sex trafficking. Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry. It generates a profit of approximately $32 billion every year. United States consumers are a major contributor to this illegal industry.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety Troopers, Phoenix Police Department, Chandler Police Department, Scottsdale Police Department, and Glendale Police Department all assisted in the investigation and the execution of today’s search warrants.
All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.
For more information, members of the media may contact Mia Garcia, Spokesperson and Director of Media Relations at (602) 339-5895 or Mia.Garcia@azag.gov.