WOMAN SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON FOR PIMPING WOMEN OUT OF IRVINE BROTHELS

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A woman was sentenced yesterday to three years in state prison for pimping women out of luxury Irvine apartments operating as brothels.

Defendant

Charges

Sentence

Jian Zhen Zhu, 42, Santa Ana

Pleaded guilty to the court on Nov. 15, 2016, to felony counts:

  • (3) Conspiracy to commit a crime
  • (3) Pimping
  • (3) Pandering
  • (3) Money laundering derived from criminal activity

Sentencing Enhancement

  • Money laundering transaction over $50,000

Court offer of three years in state prison

Codefendant John Tzu-Lung Lan, 67, Chino Hills, is charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit pimping and pandering and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Aug. 11, 2017, in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case

Zhu is a pimp who exploits women for financial gain. The victims are often required to turn over payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

  • Between Jan. 26, 2017, and Jan. 2, 2014, Zhu was convicted of and Lan is accused of renting two luxury apartments on Kelvin Avenue in Irvine to use as brothels for a prostitution ring.
  • Zhu posted advertisements of at least three women soliciting commercial sex and arranged for sex purchasers to meet with the victims.
  • On Jan. 2, 2014, members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) located an advertisement soliciting prostitution and arranged a meeting at one of the Irvine apartments.
  • Zhu walked the undercover detective into the apartment and was arrested at the scene.
  • Evidence of the locations being used as brothels, including used and new condoms in various locations, mouthwash, and over $1,600 cash were located.
  • During the investigation, OCHTTF found Zhu laundered at least $78,000 into various domestic and international bank accounts through cash deposits of money derived from pimping.

Members of the OCHTTF and the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. This case was investigated by OCHTTF, a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, IPD, Newport Beach Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Ana Police Department, and community and non-profit partners.

Deputy District Attorney Daniel Varon of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting this case.

Proposition 35 and HEAT

To read more about California’s anti-human trafficking Proposition 35 and the OCDA’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, please visit www.orangecountyda.org and select Human Trafficking Information from the Media Center drop down menu.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 14HF0182 / June 23, 2017

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