5 face federal charges in multi-million dollar prostitution busts

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) — Five people face federal charges after the FBI and local police raid a downtown Topeka massage parlor Tuesday morning. Federal officials say the Sunshine Massage and a Lawrence parlor were fronts for prostitution.

Weiling Nielson (left) and Ma Li Van Skike were two of the five people indicted for allegedly using massage parlors as fronts for prostitution. (Shawnee Co. Sheriff's Office)

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister says the prostitution businesses generated millions of dollars in revenue.

The U.S. Attorney's Office explained the indictments against the suspects as:
Ma Li Vanskike, 67, operator of ABC Massage (formerly Naima Therapy) in Lawrence is charged with one count of interstate racketeering and five counts of money laundering. An indictment alleges she laundered more than $1 million in revenues over a period of five years at Harrah’s Casino in North Kansas City, Mo.

Weiling Nielsen, 53, and Erik Nielsen, operators of Jasmine Massage in Topeka, Naima Asian Massage in Lawrence and Serenity Health Spa in Lawrence, are charged with two counts of conspiracy, two counts of bank fraud, five counts of money laundering, and one count of racketeering. An indictment alleges they bought and sold California real estate worth millions of dollars while falsely representing themselves to lenders as restaurant managers in Lawrence.

Lian Hua Li, 55, and Michael Mills, 61, are charged with two counts of conspiracy, two counts of interstate racketeering and four counts of money laundering. An indictment alleges Li operated Sunflower Massage (formerly Jasmine Massage) in Topeka and S-Therapy in Salina, and that Mills worked with her. The indictment alleges Mills transported female sex workers from the airport to massage parlors and assisted Li in laundering cash proceeds of prostitution. The indictment alleges some of the money was laundered through casinos in Kansas.

The five of them face charges including:

The charges carry the following penalties:

  • Conspiracy: Up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
  • Racketeering: Up to five years and a fine up to $250,000.
  • Money laundering and money launder conspiracy: Up to 20 years and a fine up to $500,000.
  • Bank fraud: Up to 30 years and a fine up to $1 million.

    The FBI received assistance from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Salina Police Department and the Topeka Police Department in the investigation.