A woman from Flushing, Queens, is the third defendant to be convicted for operating a multi-state prostitution ring that included encounters in Tonawanda and Henrietta.
Feng Yang Chen, 43, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to conspiracy to violate the Mann Act and the Travel Act and using the Internet to promote prostitution. Chen, who worked with co-defendants Chengqi Li and LiangLiang Guo, victimized at least 12 women who were forced under three of violence or deportation to travel state to state to engage in prostitution in various hotels.
Li and Guo were previously convicted and all three are awaiting sentencing.
Between March 2011 and March 2016, Chen advertised on Backpage.com and operated a call center from her home in Flushing, setting up meetings between prostitutes and her clients in New York and 11 other states.
The ring generated more than $2million annually, prosecutors estimated, and the government is seeking the forfeiture of approximately $450,000 in cash, plus proceeds from the sale of a property in Flushing and a 2012 Porsche Cayenne.