Madames That Ran Illegal Karaoke Bar Sentenced - NBC4 Washington

Madames That Ran Illegal Karaoke Bar Sentenced



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    Sentences have been handed down to two "madames" that ran a karaoke bar staffed by illegal immigrant women in Alexandria.

    Sang Bun Surh, 52, of Falls Church, received a 30 month sentence from a U.S. Attorney judge, and must forfeit $2 million in illegal profits.  Her co-manager at the bar, Young Mi Kim, 41, was given a 16 month prison sentence, and had to forfeit $2 million in her earnings from the business.

    "This sentence shows that companies whose business models incorporate the use of illegal alien workers will be held accountable," said U.S. District judge Anthony J. Trenga.

    Authorities said that Sang Ban Surh was the owner of the club High Society, which she managed, together with Young Mi Kim.  Customers came to sing karaoke, and were also able to patronize "parlor rooms" where scantily clad women served them alcohol.

    Investigators said that the hostesses that served the drinks in these parlor rooms were women recruited straight from South Korea, in the United States illegally.  The madames encouraged the hostesses to dress provocatively and flirt with the male customers.  The women would receive $50 a night in wages, but were allowed to keep 100 percent of the cash tips they made, and 80 percent of credit card tips.

    One bottle of liquor in one of these parlor rooms cost $300.

    The club's two madames helped the hostesses enter and stay in the country illegally.  They purchased plane tickets for the women and also gave them room and board.  The two admitted that their bar had taken in $4 million since December of 2007. 

    They both pled guilty in December of 2010.