Police Watch: Six arrested for helping brothels advertise online, launder money

SIX CHARGED WITH HELPING BROTHELS ADVERTISE ONLINE, LAUNDER MONEY
This past Monday, police arrested six people in connection with a scheme to promote and finance brothels throughout the city, including one on 14th Street, the Daily News reported. The six suspects reportedly built websites for the brothels and are being charged with money laundering.

The websites went by the names “One Hour Girlfriend,” “Kiss Kiss Pop” and “Shake Shake Girls,” and showed photos of prostitutes from the brothels. Police said that Kwong Kyu (Kevin) Kim and Hyun Kyung (Jay Hee) Han, who are married, and Hong Nae (Diane) Yi reportedly issued high-interest loans to brothel owners in Manhattan and set up bank accounts to keep money going into and out of the brothels. Court documents said that Han owned the brothel on 14th Street, as well as one on 39th Street. Additional suspects Beirne (Michael) Lowey, Tien Chih Wang and Zhengyi (Allen) Lu allegedly helped to set up web pages and ads for the brothels.

Police said that Lowey, who allegedly photographed the prostitutes, was seen placing stickers advertising the websites on light posts, parking meters and other surfaces on Third Avenue between East 10th and 31st Streets.

Wang and Lu allegedly used bitcoin to purchase advertising credits on Backpage.com, which was seized by the federal government in April, and the suspects reportedly resold the credits on their own website.

MAN ACCUSED OF ATTEMPTING TO EMPTY FATHER’S BANK ACCOUNT
Police arrested 44-year-old Louis Governara for an alleged theft inside the TD Bank at 950 Broadway on Tuesday, October 9 at 8:57 a.m. Police said that Governara presented himself as his father inside the TD Bank to withdraw all the funds from his father’s bank account. Governara’s father said that his son didn’t have permission to withdraw the funds and when police attempted to place him under arrest, he allegedly resisted. Police said that Governara was also in possession of a debit card that didn’t belong to him. He was charged with petit larceny, resisting arrest and possession of stolen property.

REAL ESTATE AGENT ALLEGEDLY STOLE PILLS FROM CLIENT’S GRAMERCY APARTMENT
Police arrested 54-year-old David Moody for an alleged theft from an apartment at 21 East 21st Street that took place on Friday, October 5.

The victim told police that she allowed Moody inside her apartment to do an open house because the suspect is her real estate agent. Police said that Moody could then be seen entering her apartment on two separate occasions at 4:49 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. on October 5 and he allegedly went through the victim’s drawers and removed pills from multiple pill bottles. \The victim said that she didn’t have anyone scheduled to view the apartment at those times and Moody didn’t have permission to be there. Moody was charged with petit larceny inside the 13th precinct on Tuesday, October 9 at 9 a.m.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT ON SECOND AVENUE
Police arrested 47-year-old Christopher Clark for an alleged assault in front of 465 Second Avenue on Tuesday, October 9 at 7:06 p.m. A witness told police that Clark punched the victim in the face multiple times, causing the victim to fall down the stairs. The witness said that once the victim was on the ground, Clark allegedly punched him again multiple times. The victim was transported to Beth Israel and was diagnosed with a fracture on the left side of his face. Police said that a knife was also recovered from Clark’s pants pocket and he was also charged with weapons possession.

MAN ARRESTED FOR STRANGLING GIRLFRIEND
Police arrested a 24-year-old man for strangulation inside Straus Houses at 243 East 27th Street on Wednesday, September 26 around 9 p.m. Police said that the suspect choked the victim, causing her to vomit. Police said that the victim, who is in her 20s and in a relationship with the suspect, sustained redness to her neck. The suspect was arrested inside the 13th precinct on Tuesday, October 9 at 7:55 p.m. The name of the suspect is being withheld to protect the identity of the victim.

WOMAN ARRESTED ON FIRST AVENUE OVER ALLEGED EXTORTION FOR PHONE
Police arrested 40-year-old Desiree Cruz for an alleged theft by extortion in front of 273 First Avenue on Friday, October 12 at 2:38 p.m. Police said that the victim lost her phone and arranged to meet up with Cruz to get it back, but Cruz allegedly agreed to return the phone only if the victim paid her. When they met up at East 14th Street and First Avenue, the victim saw Cruz allegedly holding her phone and police arrested her. When she was arrested, Cruz was also found to be in possession of a quantity of alleged heroin and marijuana. Cruz was charged with grand larceny by extortion, possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance.

SPRINT EMPLOYEE ARRESTED FOR FORGERY
Police arrested 20-year-old Abner Batista for an alleged forgery that took place inside the Sprint store at 145 Fifth Avenue on Friday, May 11. The victim told police that he went inside the store to switch a non-working phone to a used phone. The victim said that he decided to get a new phone another time.

Later in the year, he was looking at his email of purchases and found that Batista, the sales rep he had talked to when at the store, had allegedly forged his name on a protection plan policy. The victim said that he never signed his name to the plan and police said that Batista had falsely signed his name for complete the transaction. Batista was arrested inside the 13th Precinct on Wednesday, October 10 at 3 p.m.

MAN BUSTED FOR ASSAULT AT DUNKIN DONUTS
Police arrested 54-year-old Karl Dozier for an alleged assault inside the Dunkin Donuts at 355 Third Avenue on Monday, October 8 at 3:59 a.m. Police said that while Dozier and the victim were arguing inside the restaurant, Dozier pulled out a knife. When he was arrested, police found an alleged steak knife in Dozier’s back waistband. Dozier was also charged with weapons possession.

MEN BUSTED FOR ‘DRUGS’ ON EAST 24TH
Police arrested two men for allegedly selling drugs on East 24th Street on Friday morning.

Michael Miller, 35, was arrested for the alleged sale of a controlled substance at the corner of Third Avenue and East 24th Street on October 12 at 8:27 a.m. Police said that Miller, along with another person who wasn’t arrested, sold a quantity of Clonazepam to an undercover officer.

Police also arrested 44-year-old George Santiago for the alleged sale of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance at the corner of Second Avenue and East 24th Street on October 12 at 8:31 a.m. Police said that Santiago sold a quantity of methadone to an undercover officer, and was also in possession of several loose Clonazepam pills that were in his pocket.

MAN ARRESTED IN UNION SQUARE FOR ALLEGEDLY STOLEN CYMBALS
Police arrested 34-year-old Ricardo Montoya for alleged thefts in front of 25 Union Square West on Monday, October 8 at 11:50 a.m. Police said that on July 8 and August 2, Montoya entered the Guitar Center at 218 West 44th Street and allegedly swiped cymbals from the store on both occasions. Police said that on Monday, he was spotted in Union Square and police found that he was allegedly in possession of the stolen cymbals. Montoya was charged with petit larceny and possession of stolen property.

MAN ARRESTED FOR THEFTS FROM FIFTH AVENUE STORES
Police arrested 66-year-old Carlos Victor-Castillo for an alleged burglary at the corner of Broadway and East 21st Street on Tuesday, October 9 at 4:38 p.m. Police said that Victor-Castillo went inside the Banana Republic at 105 Fifth Avenue and stole multiple purses and he had previously been issued a trespass notice from the store, barring him from entering the business.

A plainclothes officer stopped Victor-Castillo a few blocks away from the store after being pointed out by a security officer from the business.

Police said that Victor-Castillo also entered the Coach store at 79 Fifth Avenue on October 6 and stole more than $1,000-worth of purses. He was also charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property.

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