Crime & Courts

These massage parlors made millions as fronts for prostitution, indictment claims

Four operators and another worker at massage parlors in three Kansas cities used their businesses as fronts for prostitution, a federal indictment states.

The massage parlor operators generated millions of dollars from prostitution and were charged separately with several counts, including conspiracy, racketeering, money laundering and bank fraud, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a release. The massage parlors were in Topeka, Lawrence and Salina.

Ma Li Vanskike, 67, is the operator of ABC Massage, formerly Naima Therapy, in Lawrence, the release said. She was charged with one count of interstate racketeering and five counts of money laundering.

Vanskike laundered more than $1 million in revenues over 5 years at Harrah's Casino in North Kansas City, Mo., an indictment alleges.

Weiling Nielsen, 53, and Erik Nielsen, operated Jasmine Massage in Topeka, Naima Asian Massage in Lawrence and Serenity Health Spa in Lawrence, the release said. They are charged with two counts of conspiracy, two counts of bank fraud, five counts of money laundering and one count of racketeering.

The Nielsens bought and sold millions of dollars worth of real estate in California while falsely representing themselves to lenders as Lawrence restaurant managers, an indictment alleges.

Lian Hua Li, 55, operated Sunflower Massage, formerly Jasmine Massage, in Topeka and S-Therapy in Salina and Michael Mills, 61, worked with her, the release states. They are charged with two counts of conspiracy, two counts of interstate racketeering and four counts of money laundering.

Mills allegedly transported female sex workers from an airport to massage parlors and assisted Li with laundering cash from prostitution, an indictment states. Some of the money was allegedly laundered through Kansas casinos.

The bank fraud charges carry the largest penalties upon conviction: up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million. Penalties for money laundering and money launder conspiracy are up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000.

Conspiracy carries penalties up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. Penalties for racketeering are up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

The FBI investigated the cases with the assistance of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the Topeka Police Department and the Salina Police Department.