A.G. Schneiderman Announces Felony Guilty Plea And Sentencing Of Drug-Dealing And Money-Laundering Pimps

Heads of Two Separate Prostitution Rings Generating Millions Of Dollars Selling Narcotics and Sex Services Will Serve Up to Nine Years in State Prison

Schneiderman: My Office Will Continue To Uncover And Punish Those Who Traffic Narcotics, Exploit Women, And Profit From Exploitation

NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of No Mi Kwon aka "Sarah" and the sentence of Jay King, each the heads of separate Manhattan-based Prostitution and Narcotics rings, to Enterprise Corruption charges in Queens Supreme Court.

Kwon, 49, of Palisades Park, NJ, was charged with Enterprise Corruption for her role in a tri-state prostitution-based, money laundering operation. She will be sentenced to a state prison term of 3 to 9 years and be required to pay $268,000. Kwon had been released upon $750,000 bail with the additional requirement of wearing an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet.

King, 53, of Whitestone, NY, who headed a large-scale prostitution business which provided crack, cocaine, and Viagra in addition to sex for sale, was sentenced to a state prison term of 3 to 9 years. She will be required to pay $100,000. King had been released upon $1,000,000 bail.

“Today’s guilty plea and sentence are part of our ongoing effort to ensure that those who participate in lucrative prostitution-based money laundering and drug dealing are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will continue to work with law enforcement agencies around the state to root out criminal networks that sell narcotics, launder money, promote prostitution, and exploit women.”

This plea is the result of a 16-month joint investigation by the Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force and the New York City Police Department that uncovered the illegal operations headed by Somad Enterprises, Inc., that was run out of an office at 150 W. 25th St., Suite 1202, and remote locations in Queens, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Philippines. The investigation resulted in a Queens County indictment which charged 19 people and the corporate defendant with a variety of crimes, including enterprise corruption, money laundering, falsifying business records, promoting prostitution and top narcotics possession and sales charges.

Through the use of electronic surveillance, physical surveillance and the review and analysis of a voluminous number of bank records and tax related documents, in conjunction with other investigative tools, the Attorney General’s investigation identified an advertising agency, Somad Enterprises, Inc., which created, monitored, facilitated and employed online and print advertisements, including on Backpage.com and in the Village Voice, and cable television commercials to knowingly and systematically promote prostitution for pimps and for which Somad and its employees, as well as the prostitution business clients, profited handsomely. Both Kwon and King, among Somad's most lucrative clients, used their services to post advertisements on Backpage.com and facilitate the airing of late night Cable Access Network commercials.

Kwon was one of Somad's lucrative enterprise partners who, as manager, headed a large-scale prostitution business which provided cocaine in addition to sex for sale. Her operation, which was run from two apartments located at 58 East 34th Street in Manhattan, utilized shell corporations created with false information. Merchant accounts were then created to process credit card transactions which hid the true nature of the charges by claiming the corporations services were for services other than for sex and/or drugs. The execution of a search warrant at Kwon's office revealed that during the period charged within the indictment, her business generated approximately 2.9 million dollars in proceeds utilizing these accounts. Kwon, like King and other prostitution groups charged in the indictment, then used the revenue from their crimes to pay Somad for their advertising services, effectively laundering money through Somad, disguising the origin of the proceeds as legitimate advertisement payments. These payments to Somad were used to both pay Somad employees who ran the advertising business and to place additional ads which promoted their prostitution businesses.

The charges are the result of a joint investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force and the New York City Police Department’s Organized Crime Control Bureau Vice Enforcement Major Case Team, with the assistance of the New York State Police, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, U.S. Homeland Security and the Westchester County District Attorney's Office.

The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorneys General Diego Hernandez and Brandi Kligman under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.

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