Four charged in alleged Oklahoma massage parlor prostitution ring
Four Chinese nationals face conspiracy and pandering charges in connection with an alleged network of illicit massage parlors in Oklahoma City and Lawton.
The ringleader of the massage enterprise is believed to be Binghua Lu, 64.
Lu also has had ties to massage businesses in Spring, Texas and Houston, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Police have received repeated complaints about massage businesses affiliated with Lu since at least 2009, records show.
Three alleged illicit massage businesses in Oklahoma City with ties to Lu are identified in court records as Prestige Massage, 7864 S Western; China Rose Health Center, 546 E Memorial and New Style Chinese Massage, 1565 SW 44.
All three businesses are registered to Lu, but only Prestige Massage still has a valid business license with Oklahoma City.
Until Lu is convicted, there's little the city can do to revoke the business license, said Meagan Armstrong, who oversees business licensing for Oklahoma City.
"Usually it takes multiple cases, multiple arrests before the revocation can actually take place," Armstrong said.
Also charged in the case are Dong Xiao Li, 38, Ying Wang, 54, and Juan Gao, 55, who are accused of helping Lu operate the massage parlors.
Oklahoma City police arrested Wang in November 2015 at Prestige Massage after she allegedly agreed to perform a sex act on an undercover police detective in exchange for $40.
Wang was arrested again in June at the same massage parlor for a similar offense. During her most recent arrest, Wang gave permission for Oklahoma City police to search her car, where they found an envelope containing several bank copies of the massage license application for Oklahoma City, according to court documents.
Lu is believed to have already fled back to China to avoid prosecution. He has scheduled two flights back to the United States this year, but failed to board either flight, authorities said.
In interviews with police, Lu has steadfastly denied involvement in the massage businesses, claiming he is a retired handyman.
However, a detective from Oklahoma City Police Department's vice unit found that Lu has made multiple large wire transfers of money to China and has paid the bail of one massage therapist for a prostitution-related arrest, according to a court affidavit. Lu was present in a back room of one of the massage businesses during one arrest, in which a massage therapist offered to perform a sex act on an undercover Oklahoma City police officer.
Brianna Bailey joined The Oklahoman in January 2013 as a business writer. During her time at The Oklahoman, she has walked across Oklahoma City twice, once north-to-south down Western Avenue, and once east-to-west, tracing the old U.S. Route 66.... Read more ›