Two indicted on human trafficking, money laundering charges

(Western Mass News photo)

State officials report that two western Massachusetts residents have been indicted, accused of trafficking women for sex at two Springfield "massage parlors" that were allegedly set-up as fronts for illicit activity.

The office of Mass. Attorney General Maura Healey said Tuesday that a statewide grand jury has indicted 65-year-old Stephen Forsley of Bernardston and 61-year-old Liu Yang of Springfield on charges including trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, money laundering, deriving support from prostitution, conspiracy to traffic persons for sexual servitude, and keeping house of ill fame.

Forsley and Yang were arrested back in January in a raid following an investigation by troopers assigned to the officer of Mass. Attorney General Maura Healey, Springfield Police, and the U.S.Department of Homeland Security.

The A.G.'s office said that through the investigation, evidence indicated that Forsley and Yang allegedly "ran a profitable and organized criminal enterprise" via "massage parlors" that were fronts for human trafficking.

Those businesses were identified by authorities as the Day Spa and the Health and Relaxation Spa, both in Springfield.

"Through these businesses, Forsley and Yang allegedly offered sexual activity between women and buyers in exchange for a fee. The AG’s Office alleges that the defendants advertised sexual services online and transported victims. Yang allegedly received the majority of the profits from these sexual encounters, which were laundered into the businesses to perpetuate the daily operations of the criminal enterprise. The AG’s Office found thousands of dollars in cash at the businesses and at Yang’s residence," Healey's office explained.

Healey's office added that their Victim Services Division is working to ensure victims are receiving the assistance and services they need.

Arraignments for both Forsley and Yang on the indictments will be held at a later date.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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