The operator of several massage parlors in Delaware was found liable of three violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (R.I.C.O.) statute.
The state alleged that Da Zhong Wang, 55, formerly of Smyrna, profited from prostitution by owning and operating brothels in Middletown, Smyrna, Dover and Rehoboth from 2010 to 2015.
After community complaints, Delaware State Police conducted sting operations at locations in Middletown and Rehoboth. The investigation resulted in a conviction of Wang on a count of permitting prostitution and Wang’s license was revoked by the Division of Professional Regulation.
DOJ attorneys filed a civil suit against Wang alleging racketeering, the first of its kind in Delaware involving human trafficking.
A civil trial earlier this year resulted in a finding by a Superior Court judge last week that Wang is liable for three RICO violations.
Wang faces up to $100,000 in civil penalties for each of the three violations and with the State intending to seek the maximum available penalty of $300,000. The court decision with more detail can be found here.