'Spa' owners free from jail

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by Katie Utehs & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 1:58 PM

SPOKANE-- A full courtroom greeted six “spa” owners during for their first appearance in front of a judge Wednesday.

The Spokane County spas were raided Tuesday in an attempt to crack down on prostitution.

The money just didn't add up for the spa owners. They were allegedly paid large amounts of cash, but police say they didn't report that income on taxes. The owners were arraigned for charges of soliciting prostitution and money laundering.

Court documents say the owners were making large cash payments for cars. That information, combined with help from confidential informants, gave investigators their case.

A former prostitue who was allegedly involved in the crime ring says money flowed for the owners of the busted spas. She says she made up to $1,000 a day herself. Jane Doe, as we're calling her, worked at Joe Jeans, Oriental Spa and Starlight.

"[The owners] tell the tax people they pay us $50 a day, and they pay taxes off of that, but that's not what we're really making a day," she said.

Investigators with "Operation Red Light" say one of the owners, Chin Day, and her son Tony both spent large amounts of cash on cars while claiming no personal income taxes.

The Days, along with four other spa owners, appeared in court. They were all released without bond. They have court dates later this month.

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