Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Sex Trade: Prostitution broker convicted in international sex trafficking conspiracy

U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MI SUN CHO was convicted yesterday for her role in an international sex trafficking conspiracy. After a one-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood, CHO was found guilty of conspiring with others to induce or entice women to travel across state lines for the purpose of engaging in prostitution, and for personally transporting individuals across state lines for the same purpose. CHO is the last of 17 defendants to be convicted as part of this wide-ranging, international conspiracy. Two other defendants charged in the conspiracy remain fugitives.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “The conviction of Min Su Cho closes a chapter in the prosecution of those responsible for a vast, international sex trafficking ring that exploited countless women. This guilty verdict also sends a clear message to others engaging in similar conduct that they will be punished.”

According to the superseding indictment and the evidence presented at trial:

A network of brothels in the Koreatown section of Manhattan masqueraded as massage parlors and used various brokers and taxi drivers to provide a steady supply of women to engage in prostitution. CHO was a broker who supplied prostitutes from New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Korea to these brothels, which were operated by other defendants in the case. Brokers like CHO received anywhere from $200 to $500 each from both the brothel owners and the prostitutes for facilitating connections between them.


CHO faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for December 15, 2011.

Fifteen other defendants previously pled guilty to their involvement in the scheme, including various brothel owners, taxi drivers, and brokers. One of those 15 defendants and an additional 16th defendant in this case also pled guilty to narcotics distribution charges.

Mr. Bharara praised the efforts of the New York Asian Organized Crime Task Force, which includes members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel S. Goldman and Rahul Mukhi are in charge of the prosecution.