Rehoboth massage parlor owner fined $126,000 for human trafficking

May 13, 2020

After being found liable for running a prostitution ring in November, a former Rehoboth Beach massage parlor owner has been ordered to pay $126,000 in fines for violating state racketeering laws. 

The state’s suit against the owner was the first use of Delaware’s civil RICO statute in a human trafficking case. 

Da Zhong Wang, 55, formerly of Smyrna, was found guilty of operating brothels masquerading as massage parlors in Smyrna, Middletown, Dover and Rehoboth from 2010 to 2015. After receiving complaints, Delaware State Police conducted sting operations at the Middletown and Rehoboth locations; Wang’s Rehoboth Avenue Extended business was known as Relaxed Spa.

Wang was found liable of three violations of the RICO statute and had faced a $100,000 civil penalty for each violation. Judge Abigail LeGrow imposed a $40,000 fine for each violation, under the reasoning that the penalty is high enough to deter Wang and anyone else from engaging in similar conduct, but is not high enough that Wang cannot pay it. LeGrow also granted the state $6,000 in attorneys fees, bringing Wang’s total fine to $126,000. 



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