A civil action by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall shut down an alleged human trafficking ring in North Alabama.
According to information provided by the attorney general’s office, TY Green’s Massage Therapy, Inc., its owner Yuping Tang, and manager Jiao Liu, who is her daughter, and their four businesses are restrained from conducting business in Alabama. The businesses operate in Huntsville under the names Health Massage and Massage Foot Care, and in Madison and Decatur under the name Massage Foot Care.
All assets have been frozen, and a receiver was appointed by the Court to take control of the businesses until a preliminary injunction hearing can be held.
In his legal complaint, Attorney General Marshall told the Court that:
“evidence collected during this investigation has revealed that the Defendants are running illicit massage businesses that serve as fronts for a human-trafficking operation. In the Defendants’ organization, the ‘employees’ work incredibly long hours during which at least some of them are expected to engage in sex acts with the businesses’ customers. When the victims are not ‘working,’ they seem to have little freedom of movement, they are transported in groups to and from the Defendants’ businesses and are kept in houses owned by the Defendants where they are left to eat and sleep in terrible conditions. The Defendants, on the other hand, have reaped millions of dollars in revenue from their businesses, and the Attorney General now brings this action in order to put an end to their conduct and protect their victims from further harm.”
Marshall explained that the immediate civil court action was vital to keep the defendants from moving and hiding their victims as well as to stop disposal or transfer of assets.
In addition to financial accounts, the defendants’ business premises and residences have been seized.
Attorney General Marshall has asked the Court to permanently shut down the defendants’ human-trafficking network and grant monetary damages as restitution for its victims.
Marshall’s office says that the victims are of Chinese nationality. For safety reasons, their whereabouts may not be disclosed and no information about the number of victims is available.
Marshall thanked the multiple agencies involved in this case, including the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy, the Alabama departments of Labor and Revenue, the Morgan and Madison county district attorneys’ offices, the Madison, Huntsville and Decatur police departments, the Madison City Attorney’s Office, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, the National Children’s Advocacy Center, and the Alabama Fusion Center.
Source: Office of the Attorney General of Alabama