Police: Prostitution bust has ties to money laundering, Chinese crime syndicate

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. (September 25, 2014) – Six people were arrested Wednesday afternoon in a suspected prostitution ring.

Officers with the Hendricks County United Drug Task Force, Indiana State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office served search and arrest warrants at five separate locations in Hendricks, Marion and Hamilton Counties.

The warrants were the result of a nine-month investigation focusing on alleged prostitution and corrupt business dealings.

Officers initiated an investigation after the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department received complaints of possible criminal activity at several massage businesses in the area.

During the investigation undercover officers obtained information through surveillance and onsite visits that was submitted to the Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office and ultimately used to obtain the search and arrest warrants that were served today.

Below is the list of the people arrested and charged in suspected criminal activity (from top left to right on picture:

  • Jilan Ervin, 48, of Sheridan
    • Promoting prostitution warrant out of Hendricks County, Class C Felony
  • Richard Kem, 52, of Westfield
    • Corrupt Business Influence, Two Counts, Class C Felony
    • Theft, Four Counts, Class D Felony
    • Promoting Prostitution, Class C Felony
    • Failure to Remit, Class D Felony
  • Xiaorui Kem, 50, Of Westfield
    • Corrupt Business Influence, Four Counts Class C Felony
    • Theft, Seven Counts, Class D Felony
  • Peng Li Ping, 51, of Westfield
    • Prostitution, Class A Misdemeanor
  • Yan Yun Zhang, 36, of Indianapolis
    • Promoting prostitution, Class C Felony
    • Prostitution, Class A Misdemeanor
  • Yugie Zheng, 43, of Indianapolis
    • Promoting prostitution, Class C Felony
    • Prostitution, Class A Misdemeanor

All of the people arrested were transported and incarcerated in the Hendricks County Jail.

The warrants were served at two business locations, Bali Spa, 7125 E. US 36, Avon and Palm Tree 8401 E. US 36 Ste. E. Avon. Two residences in Indianapolis and one in Westfield were also searched.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office along with the Indiana Department of Revenue posted “cease business operations” signage at Sunny Spa, 9719 E. US 36, Avon, Shangri-La Foot Spa, 8100 E. US 36, Avon, Blue Light Message, 21 Beachway Dr., Indianapolis and Love Bean, 77 S. Girls School Road, Suite 201, Indianapolis. These businesses are alleged to never have obtained a retail merchants certificate.

“This investigation stemmed from an alert public’s observations and grew into the alleged charges that were brought forth today,” said Trooper Skyler Whittington, of the Special Investigations Section/Human Trafficking Task Force. “We believe that this supposed victimless crime is a multi-million dollar money laundering business for Chinese organized crime.”

Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to contact local law enforcement or Indiana State Police at (317) 897-6220 or 1-800-582-8440.

Information courtesy of the Indiana State Police