3 charged with alleged human trafficking ring in Colorado

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

The Colorado Attorney General’s office released details of the charges to the public on Friday. According to the court documents, since at least January 2021 and up until March this year, Hye Kyeung Seo, Sang Hyon Shim and Seon Hee Wolf conspired to force women to engage in sexual activity with clients at the spas they owned for money. 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 the staff appeared to live and sleep.

“Investigators linked the three individuals to the company through a variety of records, including business records, bank records, vehicle registrations and phone records,” reads part of the press release. “Evidence shows that the defendants profited and lived off the money made from illegal prostitution and human trafficking in the massage parlors. The defendants also face allegations of laundering revenue from the company using multiple methods, including laundering money in casinos, using money orders, repeating small cash deposits via ATM deposits, and circumventing state transaction reporting requirements.”

The defendants face a range of offenses including conspiracy to commit human trafficking for the purpose of sexual bondage, pimping, money laundering and holding a place of prostitution. Seo and Shim are accused of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual bondage.

“Human trafficking is a growing problem across Colorado, and preventing human trafficking-related crimes by illegal businesses posed as massage parlors is a high priority for the state. Traffickers often use illegal massage companies to exploit workers. It is critical that law enforcement and community partners continue to work together to investigate and prosecute those who victimize and act on the grounds of sexual bondage,” said Attorney General Weiser.

If you suspect human trafficking, you can call the Colorado Human Trafficking Hotline 24 hours a day at 866-455-5075.

Click here to read the indictment.

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