Three men accused of running a multistate online prostitution ring from Flushing pleaded not guilty Monday to accusations they linked up men with prostitutes in the Town of Tonawanda and elsewhere.
Yang Chen, 30, Liang Liang Guo, 30, and Cheng Qi Li, 27, were charged each with violating the federal Travel Act and conspiracy to violate the Travel Act. U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said that if convicted as charged, each faces prison terms of up to five year and fines of up to $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Moellering said the three used the website Backpage.com to arrange encounters with prostitutes in the Town Tonawanda as well as cities in New York and other states in recent years. The three were released on conditions set by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy in Buffalo, pending further court proceedings.