Update: Mesa County Man Connected to Raided Massage Parlor Arrested For False Use of A Social Security Number #GVCopBeat
Below is a news release that the Department of Justice just put out regarding an arrest of a man connected to yesterday’s raid on the massage parlors:
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
John F. Walsh
United States Attorney, District of Colorado
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2014
MESA COUNTY MAN CONNECTED TO RAIDED MASSAGE PARLOR ARRESTED FOR FALSE USE OF A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
Four massage parlors were raided yesterday as part of an ongoing investigation
DENVER – A Mesa County man, Wei Li, age unknown, a resident of Clifton, was arrested without incident at the Balanced Healing Massage and Spa for false use of a Social Security Number, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI, Grand Junction Police Department and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office announced. The defendant appeared this afternoon before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Grand Junction where he was advised of his rights, and the charges pending against him. Li is due back in court tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.
According to the affidavit in support of the Criminal Complaint, on November 15, 2013, Bank of the West provided information regarding banking activity in accounts held by Balanced Healing, which included defendant Wei Li as a co-signer. According to the investigation, when the Balanced Healing account was opened at the bank by Li and another person, Li presented a signature card, including information that Li stated he resided in Clifton, Colorado. Li also presented a Washington driver’s license and provided a Social Security Number. Li represented himself to be an unemployed truck driver and a non-resident alien.
Further investigation determined that Balanced Healing was in the client massage business and advertised erotic full body massages. Starting in November 2012 through March 13, 2014, large amounts of cash was deposited in the Balanced Healing’s bank accounts and was used for the defendant and another person’s personal expenses.
During the course of the investigation into possible human trafficking, it was determined from the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Inspector General that Li’s Social Security Number/ITIN is not a valid number and has never been issued. Further, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation determined the ITIN number was also not valid.
Yesterday Li was present at Balanced Healing Massage and Day Spa in Grand Junction during the execution of a federal search warrant. Li provided a Social Security Card dated 02/19/2014 with a different number, with “Valid for work only with DHS Authorization” written upon it.
If convicted of false use of a Social Security Number, the defendant faces not more than 5 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.
This case is being investigated by the FBI, Grand Junction Police Department, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer.
A criminal complaint is a probable cause charging document. Anyone accused of committing a federal felony crime has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a grand jury.
The charges contained in the Criminal Complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.