Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Human Trafficking: International sex trafficking fugitive arrives in U.S. to face charges

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; JAMES T. HAYES, JR., the Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Office of Homeland Security Investigations ("HSI") in New York; and JANICE K. FEDARCYK, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), announced that UN SUN BROWN arrived late yesterday in the Southern District of New York to face a charge of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, forced labor, and alien smuggling. BROWN was originally charged in 2006 and has remained a fugitive since then. On August 1, 2010, BROWN surrendered to HSI agents in Washington, D.C. BROWN is expected to be presented in Manhattan federal court later today.

The original series of cases, which were prosecuted in 2006 and 2007, resulted in the convictions of 25 individuals. These included five defendants who were tried and convicted in November 2007 in the case United States v. Kyo Hwa Adler, et al., 06 Cr. 717 (AKH).

Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: "After four years on the lam, Un Sun Brown has finally surrendered to HSI authorities to face federal sex trafficking charges. Brown and her co-conspirators allegedly made hundreds of thousands of dollars prostituting women, forcing them to reside five-at-a-time in single rooms and requiring them to have sex with customers for no wages and at risk to their personal safety."

HSI Special Agent-in-Charge JAMES T. HAYES, JR., said: "Sex traffickers prey on the vulnerabilities of their victims to force them into lives of servitude and rob them of their human dignity. We will continue to work tirelessly with our partners to bring down these ruthless operations and bring to justice those who profit from them."

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge JANICE K. FEDARCYK stated: "UN SUN BROWN allegedly committed sex trafficking, forced labor, and alien smuggling, preying on young women. Her arrest will keep other women safe from her criminal activity. Running from the law doesn't work and now Brown will face trial for these serious crimes."

According to the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court and other documents filed in the case:

BROWN participated in an international criminal operation that smuggled women from South Korea into the United States, and placed those women at various prostitution businesses located throughout the Northeastern United States. BROWN owned a prostitution business known as "14K Spa," which was located in downtown Washington, D.C.

BROWN and her co-conspirators utilized a network of drivers to deliver Korean women to work at the conspirators’ businesses as prostitutes, and to transport women within the network to meet customer demand. BROWN generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual income at her business, by charging customers "house fees" to have sex with the women, while paying them no wages or salaries. The women were also required to pay BROWN up to $500 per week from the money they received directly from customers for sex.

BROWN typically employed five women at a time, all of whom were required to sleep on mattresses on the floor in a single room inside BROWN’s business. The women also were required to follow "house rules" that barred the women from going outside or refusing customers. At least one of the women who worked at BROWN’s business was the victim of a sexual assault that occurred inside BROWN’s business. She was then instructed by the business’s manager not to contact the police, to refund the customer who had assaulted her, and to return to work.

BROWN, 60, is charged with is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, forced labor, and alien smuggling. If convicted, BROWN faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain from the offense.

Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of HSI and the FBI.

Assistant U.S. Attorney ELIE HONIG is in charge of the prosecution, which is being handled by the Office's Organized Crime Unit.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.