Two Chinese nationals were sentenced Tuesday to five years in federal prison for coercing Asian women to come to Kansas City and forcing them to perform sex acts for customers at two area massage parlors.
Zhong Yan Liu, known as “Lucky,” and Cheng Tang, known as “Tom,” pleaded guilty last year to human trafficking charges. They admitted coercing women to travel across state lines and international borders to engage in prostitution.
The two were ordered to forfeit to the federal government more than $500,000 they raised through the scheme, and both are subject to deportation after they have served their sentences.
Liu and Tang were among four people arrested in 2007 after an undercover operation led to raids of 12 businesses and four homes in Johnson County, which is part of the Kansas City metro area. A third person involved in the scheme, Ling Xu, also known as “Cherry,” is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.
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According to court documents, Xu, Liu and Tang flew women from California, New York, Nevada and Arizona into Kansas City International Airport, where they were picked up and taken to massage parlors in Overland Park, Kan. All the women were originally from China.
Prosecutors identified at least 22 victims, although they noted in court documents that the women were rotated out every 30 days and there appeared to be many more victims in the 18 months the massage parlors operated from November 2005 until May 2007.