Local sex trafficking charges are bad enough for the owner of an Anchorage, Alaska, massage parlor, but then the feds got into the act and charged her with “structuring.” Bottom line is she faces five years in prison for each offense.
Structuring is when you layer bank transactions to avoid the $10,000 reporting threshold required by the Bank Secrecy Act. Yin Mei Tran Lau owns and operates Yin’s Massage Therapy, allegedly a front for prostitution.
The structuring allegedly took place in January 2009. Yin Mei Tran Lau is said to have used some of the illegally structured money to purchase real property in Anchorage.
Detectives investigating the business say that the clientele was almost entirely men, that the only women besides Yin Mei Tran Lau in the business appeared to actually live at the business, and that the women working at Yin’s Massage Therapy would offer to perform sexual acts for a fee. Moreover, Yin Mei Tran Lau allegedly transported women in and out of Alaska for purposes of prostitution.
In other recent sex-related crimes:
- Johnathon Kelly of Atlanta, Georgia, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for interstate transportation of a 17-year-old girl for prostitution. The girl had run away from her family home in Alabama. The arrest was the result of a routine traffic stop by officers who recognized that Kelly might be sexually exploiting the girl. Kelly had posted photos of the girl on the Internet and drove her to meet prostitution clients in Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
- A minister at Jones Grove Pentecostal Church in Mount Olive, North Carolina, has pleaded guilty to a child pornography offense and was sentenced to 151 months in prison. Timothy Jack Strickland was found to have more than 124,000 images of child pornography on his computer. Strickland aroused suspicion during an online chat with an undercover law enforcement officer.
- William Seevers, 48, formerly of Atmore, Alabama, attacked a woman in June 2012 on the Gatlinburg Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. He used a knife during the attack, stabbed the victim several times and raped her. The victim was able to crawl to a road and get help. She was flown by helicopter to a hospital for treatment. A DNA sample was obtained from the victim at the hospital and was linked to Seevers. He was later found in an Alabama prison. He pleaded guilty to the attack and got 27 years.