Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Houston Couple Guilty of Hidden Sex Business


You never can tell the creative ways in which business owners will hide their illegal practices. Perhaps the neighborhood deli is a cover for a cockfighting arena that lurks behind the pastrami slicer. Could it be that the local dry cleaning operation uses all of those rotating shirts and suits to hide a thriving meth lab? Who would notice the smell of Sudafed cooking over all of the starch? Here's a warning to all aspiring models in the Houston area. The modeling studio that has offered to produce your photographs may be operating a prostitution ring in the dark room.

Man Hui Cho and his wife, Ki Sun Park, supposedly owned a studio for models in Houston. In reality, the business was a place for South Korean women who were in the country illegally to work as prostitutes. The husband and wife team of sex vendors thought they were successfully concealing their employees, as they paid undercover officers more than $40,000 over a year and a half to let them know when inspectors would be coming to the studio.

Yesterday, the couple entered guilty pleas on charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit visa fraud, and conspiracy to import aliens for purposes of prostitution. So, essentially, the law is charging them with all kinds of conspiring. If convicted, Cho and Park face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Perhaps the women, if allowed to stay in the country, can now find legitimate modeling work. Are you reading this, Tyra Banks?

Were you brought into this country for illegal purposes and feel that you were taken advantage of by your employer? We have attorneys who specialize in immigration law who can help you. Have you been accused of running a prohibited business disguised as a legitimate operation? You should discuss your case with one of our criminal defense attorneys. Please contact the law offices of Bertolino LLP in Austin, Houston, or San Antonio today.

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