LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer announced today that his office has filed a lawsuit against the owners, operators and landlord of two Blue Moon Relax Spas, in Van Nuys and Tarzana, seeking injunctions to permanently shut them down. Both locations allegedly are well-known for prostitution by law enforcement, community members and in online reviews. The lawsuit is part of an enduring effort by Feuer and LAPD targeting problem properties throughout the city.
"We contend these co-called spas are instead notorious for prostitution," said Feuer. "They're close to schools or legitimate businesses, and we're seeking an injunction to shut them down. I'm also concerned that some workers possibly are victims of human trafficking, and we're working with our non-profit partners to get them the help they may need."
"This is not only a violation of the permitting process, but it’s a violation of ethical values when operating a prostitution ring under the guise of a massage therapy business. It is crucial that we prosecute bad actors and business owners operating out of compliance to the fullest extent of the law," said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez. "Not only because they are breaking the law, but because it is the right thing to do. How would you like it if your daughter or son had to pass by one of these businesses on their way to school? You don’t need to imagine it, just ask the children in my community who attend school at a campus barely 50 feet from Blue Moon’s front door. It is disgusting. And it is why I have been fighting to shut these places down since my first days in office."
"It is sickening that there is alleged human trafficking and prostitution in our own backyard," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumefield. “Thanks to City Attorney Feuer and his team for their diligent work in uncovering this scheme. Among many alarming aspects of this case, the fact that children were offered sexual services is truly disturbing and we must continue to seek justice for victims of trafficking."
The lawsuit names Xiaoxi Ding and Hongshan Wang as CEO and manager, respectively, of Kedi Enterprises, Inc., the corporation behind Blue Moon Relax Spa. Blue Moon Relax Spa has two locations in strip malls in the west San Fernando Valley – in Van Nuys at 6817 Balboa Boulevard, and in Tarzana at 18959 Ventura Boulevard. The lawsuit also names Balowen LLC as the owner and operator of the strip mall in Van Nuys and Topeka Plaza LLC as the owner and operator of the strip mall in Tarzana. According to public records, the manager of both LLC’s is Dr. Isaac Hakim, a dentist in Beverly Hills. The lawsuit alleges the defendants have operated a sophisticated prostitution ring at both locations under the guise of massage therapy businesses.
Since 2012, LAPD has conducted numerous vice investigations at both locations of Blue Moon Relax Spa, resulting in 14 prostitution-related arrests. According to LAPD, customers who enter are presented a lineup of female sex workers wearing little clothing for them to select, and are then offered sexual services in exchange for money. Both businesses have a reputation in the community and online for prostitution.
The Van Nuys location opened in 2011 without a valid massage business permit, as required by the Los Angeles Municipal Code section 103.205(b), and continues to operate without a permit to this day. It is 50-feet from the LAUSD campus of Birmingham High School, Valley Alternative Magnet and Mulholland Middle School.
The Tarzana location opened in 2014. Recently, LAPD received a complaint which said that two 16-year old boys visited this location and were offered sexual services. The lawsuit seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions for both locations, under California’s Red Light Abatement and Unfair Competition laws, including evicting the businesses, preventing the properties from being leased, rented or sold to massage therapy businesses in the future, and, if necessary, closing the properties for one year. The lawsuit also seeks to prevent the business owner and operators from having any future business interest in any service oriented business in the City of Los Angeles, without prior written approval from the court. And the lawsuit also seeks civil penalties for each defendant. Since July 2013, City Attorney Feuer’s Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program has filed 126 similar actions and obtained 239 injunctions requiring comprehensive physical and managerial improvements to nuisance properties. In this same time period, the office has also successfully secured the closure of 8 gang/narcotics locations and recovered $2 million in costs and fees.
Feuer has established an easy-to-use online method through which residents may report problem properties in their neighborhoods. Reports may be made anonymously online or by calling the City Attorney’s Office at (213) 978-8340.
Read the complaint.