Federal prosecutors have accused 11 people of money laundering following an investigation into a network of Korean brothels in the New York City area.
A criminal complaint shows the defendants laundered more than $1.4 million in illegal revenue from the businesses between 2011 and 2016.
Prosecutors say some of the brothels posed as legitimate businesses and kept lists of customers who had been vetted by other brothels and customers and would only do business with them. Authorities say they were independently owned but shared prostitutes and advertising outlets.
The complaint says police found a computer file containing more than 70,000 entries that appear to describe the customers.
Nearly a dozen businesses in Manhattan were identified in the complaint as brothels. It’s unclear if they have been closed.