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Brothel Owner Sentenced to 10 Years for Coercing Korean Aliens into Prostitution

Contact: Sheila Jerusalem, Office of Justice Programs, 202-307-0703

WASHINGTON, July 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- Korean madam Mi Na Malcolm was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for her role in the ownership and operation of three Korean brothels in Dallas, Texas, the Justice Department announced today. Malcolm was further ordered to pay $460,000 to her victims. The court previously found that Malcolm had harbored young Korean women, coerced them into prostitution, and laundered the proceeds of the prostitution.

"Today's sentence sends a loud and clear message that those individuals who abuse the most helpless and vulnerable members of our society will be aggressively investigated, swiftly prosecuted, and firmly punished," said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

"Mi Na Malcolm preyed upon some of society's most vulnerable individuals - frightened runaways and illegal immigrants trapped in a cycle of violence, prostitution and forced labor," said United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Richard Roper. "The sentence imposed upon Malcolm today for her brutal crime and assault on human dignity should serve as a warning to any who would traffic in and harbor illegal aliens - you will be found and you will pay the price."

On March 3, 2006, Malcolm pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to harbor aliens for prostitution, one count of harboring illegal aliens for financial gain, and bulk cash smuggling. In her plea agreement, Malcolm admitted that she paid the victims' debts to human smugglers, took their passports, and told them they could not leave until they had paid off their debts to her. Malcolm then forced the victims to live and work at one of her three brothels in order to pay off their debts to her and for her own profit. Malcolm directed the victims to work as prostitutes for six to seven days a week. Many of the victims were forced to be available for sex twenty-four hours a day. Malcolm monitored the victims' movements in person, through an escort, and through a video surveillance system inside one of the brothels.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldana and Department of Justice Trial Attorney J. Evans Rice III of the Civil Rights Division's Criminal Section. The case was investigated by Special Agents from the Dallas Office of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, has made Civil Rights a top priority of the Department. In the last five fiscal years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with U.S. Attorneys' Offices, has quadrupled the number of trafficking investigations, tripled the number of defendants charged, and doubled the number of defendants convicted. Between fiscal years 2001 and 2005, federal prosecutors charged 189 defendants with sex trafficking, an increase of more than 450 percent over the number of defendants charged during the previous five years. With two months remaining in the current fiscal year, the Department already has set a record by convicting more trafficking defendants than in any other single year on record.