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Four arrested on suspicion of recruiting Chinese women for San Gabriel Valley brothels

August 10, 2010 |  1:56 pm

Four people have been arrested on suspicion of recruiting women from China to work in brothels housed in homes in Monterey Park and San Gabriel.

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, the weekend bust resulted from a nine-month investigation into a far-reaching prostitution enterprise that relied on word-of-mouth and personal referrals to lure customers into private condominiums for commercial sex.

The defendants engaged in various types of immigration fraud including using fake documents and false marriages to recruit women, many with valid student visas, into a life of prostitution in the San Gabriel Valley, according to court papers.

Authorities on Saturday arrested: Jian Guo, aka "David," 42, of Arcadia; Huagui Lotto, aka "Candy," 53, of Rowland Heights; Lotto's husband, Phillip Fu, 47, of Rowland Heights; and Yibin Zhang, 45, of Monterey Park.

The charges filed against them include conspiracy to import and harbor aliens for prostitution, conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and pimping and pandering.

"Illegal ventures like this degrade the quality of life in our neighborhoods as well as the women involved," Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of ICE's office of Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles said in a statement. "ICE will continue to work closely with its law enforcement partners to attack and dismantle these kinds of enterprises that prey on the vulnerable and often bring other criminal activity into the area."

-- Ching-Ching Ni