Prostitution ring evidence emerges in federal court - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Prostitution ring evidence emerges in federal court

(Photo source: WLOX News) (Photo source: WLOX News)
ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) -

Was she the manager of an elaborate prostitution ring?  Or merely the "receptionist" at a massage parlor in St. Martin?

Those were the contrasting pictures painted in federal court Tuesday afternoon, when Yeon Sook Hwang appeared for arraignment.

Officials say the 41 year old will remain in federal custody without bond until her trial Jan. 4 on charges of transporting women for prostitution and money laundering.

During the hearing, an FBI agent testified about evidence uncovered during the investigation of Triple-7 spa, the business which preceded "JJ Spa".

The agent said 50 prostitutes were rotated through the spa during a seven month period in 2013, and the business made nearly $1 million during a two year period beginning in 2012.

The investigator also testified about large cash transfers, multiple bank accounts and expenditures that included nine cases, or 9,000 condoms, purchased for the spa during an 18 month period.

The agent testified that the defendant would be a poor candidate for bond, considering she has no ties to the community and access to significant sums of cash.

Her defense attorney says a different picture will emerge at trial.

“Ms. Hwang is very adamant that she's not guilty of these charges, and looks forward to her day in court at this time. And we'll see where we end up. We were very disappointed that the judge didn't allow her out on bond. But we'll see where we head from here,” said defense attorney, Jim Davis.

Judge John Gargiulo ordered the defendant held without bond.

If convicted on all charges, Hwang could face 50 years in prison and fines well over $ 1 million dollars.

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