Men sentenced for running brothel in city

December 9, 2008

By Staff

Two men have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in operating roving brothels in Newcastle, Renton and Bellevue.

Yin Hoo Yap, 34, of Malaysia, was sentenced to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Yap’s employee, Kou Chwung Liu, 53, of China, receive a one-year sentence and three years’ supervised release. 

Both pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to transport individuals in furtherance of prostitution. Both men were in the U.S. illegally and will be deported after serving their sentences, prosecutors said. As part of a plea agreement, Yap forfeited more than $50,000 and a 2004 Lexus sport utility vehicle. 

Yap operated brothels in the Seattle area for the past three years. At any time, two or three Asian women worked at them. The women would travel from various cities across the U.S. to work at the brothels for 10 days, then move to brothels in other cities. 

Yap employed Liu to live at the brothel, greet customers and transport the prostitutes. More than 100 prostitutes were employed at Yap’s brothels.

“The defendants in this case not only exploited women for personal profit, they operated one of the brothels in a residential neighborhood within walking distance of an elementary school,” said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations in Seattle. 

One of the brothels was a few blocks away from Sierra Heights Elementary School, about a half-mile south of Newcastle in Renton.   

On June 9, immigration agents and the Washington State Patrol raided a brothel in a rental house in the 9200 block of Coal Creek Parkway Southeast, at the entrance of the Highlands subdivision in Newcastle. The men also operated brothels at a Renton house on Northeast 27th Street and a house on 134th Avenue Northeast in Bellevue.

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