BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Feng Yang Chen, 43, of Flushing, NY is sentenced to 57 months in prison for her operation of an interstate prostitution business and using the internet to promote prostitution.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Moellering stated that between March 2011 and March 2016, Chen operated a multi-state prostitution organization. Chen operated a call center from her home and advertised women on Backpage.com.
The Government identified more than six thousand Backpage advertisements that led to prostitution in multiple states. Some encounters took place in Tonawanda and Henrietta, NY.
The defendant reportedly victimized at least 12 individuals who traveled from state to state to engage in prostitution. Chen recruited the victim women in China and used threats of violence and deportation against the victims to force participation. According to Moellering, victims were badly assaulted.
“Many people are unaware that human trafficking occurs and this tragic crime usually goes unnoticed in the United States,” said HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly. “While we can't erase the suffering these women experienced, we can aggressively investigate and prosecute those responsible. HSI and our partners will continue to send a powerful warning that consequences await those engaged in these heinous acts.”