Feds Now Have 70,000 Phone Numbers of NYC Brothel Customers
Are you a fan of Manhattan's South Korean "massage parlors?" Did you perhaps call one, looking not for a message, but instead for a "girlfriend experience?" Were you silly enough to use your real phone to make that call?
Well, congratulations! Federal authorities now have your phone number, and possibly some identifying information, like hair color or whether or not you were a jerk when you visited. Do you not know what a burner phone is? How have you not seen "The Wire" yet? Geez.
Dial "M" for Massage
According to The Daily Beast, the 70,000 phone numbers were aggregated as part of a multi-brothel "fetish franchise," with eleven locations throughout the Big Apple, all sharing customer information based on the phone number. The numbers were used as a centralized list for the businesses to share, "divided into multiple categories, including, among other things, 'approved' customers and suspected law enforcement. In addition the list contained notes about the customers."
That was until all eleven locations, along with eleven individuals were named in a criminal complaint alleging conspiracy and money laundering, among other crimes. A source with information on the brothels and individuals charged explaining the process to The Daily Beast: "They log whatever name you give them unless you're stupid enough to have your name on your phone but a lot of these guys use burners. The guys who are married and the guys who are important, they get trick phones specifically for this."
Yep, that would be the smart way to do it. But do we really think that all 70K of these customers -- or even most of them -- were thinking clearly when they dialed up a brothel? Especially when they could've just used Yelp?
As for the "girlfriend experience," or GFE? "[C]ondom-less sex acts, priced at a premium," as reported by The Daily Beast, and priced at $350 an hour, per their source. Hope it was worth it, gentlemen.
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