3 charged in alleged Colorado human trafficking ring

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DENVER (KKTV) – Three people have been indicted by a grand jury on 19 counts related to what authorities describe as a “complex criminal enterprise of human trafficking, pimping and money laundering” involving massage parlors in Colorado.

On Friday, the Colorado attorney general’s office shared details of the indictment with the public. According to court documents, since at least January 2021 and through March this year, Hye Kyeung Seo, Sang Hyon Shim, and Seon Hee Wolf conspired to coerce women into engaging in sex for money with the customers of the spas they owned and operated. The crimes allegedly took place at spas in Denver and Jefferson County. A press release from Attorney General Phil Weiser’s office explains that each of the spas had a small bedroom where employees appeared to live and sleep.

“Investigators have linked the three individuals to the company through various documents, including business records, bank records, vehicle registrations and phone records, among others,” part of the release reads. “The evidence demonstrates that the defendants profited and lived off the money earned through illegal prostitution and trafficking in massage parlours. The defendants are also accused of using several methods to launder the business’s products, including laundering money through casinos, using money orders, making repeated small cash deposits through ATM deposits, and circumventing federal transaction reporting requirements.

The defendants face a number of felony charges including conspiracy to commit human trafficking for sexual servitude, pimping, money laundering and maintaining a place of prostitution . Seo and Shim are charged with human trafficking for sexual servitude.

“Human trafficking is a growing problem throughout Colorado, and preventing human trafficking offenses by illicit businesses represented by massage parlors is a high state priority. Human traffickers commonly use illicit massage businesses to exploit workers. It is critical that law enforcement and community partners continue to work together to investigate and prosecute those who victimize and traffic people into sexual servitude,” Attorney General Weiser said.

If you suspect human trafficking, you can call Colorado Human Trafficking Hotline 24/7 at 866-455-5075.

Click here to read the indictment.

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