Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New York Woman Arrested on Human Trafficking Charges

From the Media Newswire:

BUFFALO, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn announced today the arrest of Yan Liu, 48, of Amherst, New York. Ms. Liu was charged by Complaint with enticing a woman to travel in interstate commerce for purposes of prostitution and to engage in sexual activity for which she could be charged with a criminal offense. The Complaint was unsealed at Ms. Liu's initial appearance on February 28, 2008 and she is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court on March 5, 2008 for a status of counsel hearing. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Moscati stated that the Complaint alleges the defendant spoke by telephone with an Asian woman then in California on several occasions in August, 2007 and persuaded the woman to purchase an airline ticket and travel to Buffalo for the purpose of working in a massage parlor owned or operated by the defendant. The Complaint alleges Ms. Liu owned or operated Asian Greenday Spa in West Seneca, New York and Rainbow Spa in Amherst, New York. The woman who traveled from California worked in Asian Greenday Spa and performed numerous sexual acts for customers and was paid in "tips" for these services while the parlor's base massage fee was paid over to Ms. Liu

This case was brought as part of the District's Human Trafficking Task Force and Alliance ( WDNY HTTFA ). In November, 2006, the Attorney General announced the creation of this task force in the Western District of New York, one of 42 nationwide. The WDNY HTTFA is a collaboration of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and non-government service organizations working together to identify, rescue and assist victims of human trafficking, human smuggling and other civil and human rights offenses in the 17 Counties of the District, through aggressive investigation, prosecution, training, education and outreach to law enforcement, non-government organizations, vulnerable and affected persons and the general public.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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