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Federal Way ‘madame’ sentenced to federal prison for immigration fraud

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Feb. 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
February 22, 2013 4:08 pm

An Auburn resident convicted of arranging for Korean women to be brought to the United States illegally to work as bar girls was sentenced today to two years in federal prison.

Before handing down the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton told Miyoung Roberts that her conduct was “degrading” and “shameful,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle reported.

Roberts, 42, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit immigration fraud; conspiracy to harbor, transport and induce illegal aliens; and attempting to commit immigration fraud.

Federal prosecutors said she worked as the “madame” of a Federal Way nightclub called The Blue Moon where Korean women in the country illegally were paid to entertain and mingle with male patrons. Prosecutors alleged prostitution also was involved, a claim Roberts’ lawyer denied.

Prosecutors recommended a sentence of three years in prison for Roberts, who also was accused of entering into a false marriage to obtain a green card and for arranging the false marriage of another woman.

“The defendant was involved in criminal activity for over three years, and even when not employed at The Blue Moon, she was actively recruiting and coordinating the travel of illegal Korean National women to work at various room salon businesses in New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Colorado,” federal prosecutors Ye-Ting Woo and Matthew Thomas wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

Defense attorney Phil Brennan recommended a sentence of time served. His client has been incarcerated since her arrest in January 2012.

Brennan said Roberts was a bit player in a larger conspiracy to bring women illegally into the country, was sorry for her actions and faces immediate deportation when she is released.

Putting her in prison serves no purpose, he argued.

Seven other people were indicted in the case last year. The owner of the Blue Moon, Chang Kim, is to be sentenced next month.

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