News Release: United State Attorney Middle District of Georgia
July 15, 2014
Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that four defendants were sentenced in Macon today by the Honorable Marc T. Treadwell, United States District Court Judge, in connection with the operation of a place of prostitution and money laundering activities. The charges against the four defendants, all Korean nationals, stemmed from the operation of the Sedona Tanning Salon, formerly known as the Soft Hands Massage Parlor, located at 1922 Riverside Drive, Macon, Georgia, from August 2008 to March, 2012.
The owner of the business and admitted leader of the operation, Hyeon Joo Chae, age 45, was sentenced to three years in federal prison for conspiracy to promote prostitution and money laundering offences. In addition, she forfeited her interest in a condominium in Buckhead (Atlanta) Georgia as well as a BMW X5 automobile and $4000 in cash. It should be noted that there is no parole in the federal penal system.
Also sentenced for conspiracy to promote prostitution was Kye Wol Dyreson, age 73, who at various times served as the manager of the facility in the absence of Ms. Chae. Ms. Dyreson received three years probation for her role in the scheme.
The two remaining defendants, who cooperated with the prosecuting authorities in this case, each were sentenced to probation for the offense of misprision of a felony. Ki Un Jordan, age 49, was given three years probation and Jin Noh was sentenced to one year of probation for their activities in connection with the prostitution business.
Ms. Chae, the owner of the business, admitted changing the name of the business and putting its ownership into a “shell” corporation controlled by her when she became concerned that it had drawn the interest of law enforcement authorities. She also maintained and used various bank accounts in the name of herself, the business, and the corporation to launder, or conceal, the illegal nature of the income it was generating. Ms. Chae also admitted that, though the establishment purported to be a massage and tanning parlor, it operated solely as a place of prostitution, having only one unused tanning bed and no personnel qualified to perform legitimate massage services. Credit cards were accepted for payment, supplying the interstate nexus necessary for federal prosecution. Virtually all of the women employed by the business were Korean nationals. Ms. Chae had twice previously pled guilty to maintaining a place of prostitution in the State Court of Bibb County, Georgia.
The case was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Macon/Bibb County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.