Home Lawrence Ledger Lawrence Ledger News

Authorities allege Lawrence Township house was site of human trafficking, prostitution

A resident’s observation that a large number of people appeared to be living in a house on Lakedale Drive in Lawrence Township led to charges of human trafficking, prostitution and other offenses being leveled against three people, including the owner of the Fusion House restaurant at the Lawrence Shopping Center, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

The arrests, which occurred Nov. 1, were the result of a two-year investigation by detectives from the Lawrence Township Police Department and the Mercer County Proscutor’s Office’s Economic Crime Unit. The investigation was launched after the resident tipped off the police department.

Chin Pang Liu, 47, of Mink Court, Lawrence Township, was charged with human trafficking and failure to pay taxes, the prosecutor’s office said. Liu owns the house on Lakedale Drive and is the principal owner of the Fusion House restaurant and the Golden China restaurant in Yardley, Pa. The Fusion House is closed.The status of the Pennsylvania restaurant is not known.

Yonglian Liu, 34, of Poillon Court, Lawrence Township, is one of Chin Pang Liu’s employees, and Dong Teng, 45, were each charged with promoting prostitution and maintaining a residence as a place of prostitution, the prosecutor’s office said. An address for Teng was not available.

Chin Pang Liu was also charged with failure to pay taxes after a search warrant was served on his residence and police seized $50,000 in cash from the house, the prosecutor’s office said.

A subsequent review of his 2016 personal tax return showed he reported income of about $100,000. Additional financial documents and the cash seized during the execution of the search warrant corroborated that he did not report a significant portion of his income, the prosecutor’s office said.

During the course of the investigation that was launched in September 2016, detectives watched as different men and women were taken from the Lakedale Drive house and driven to the restaurants owned by Chin Pang Liu in Lawrence Township and Yardley, Pa. Authorities said he owned the cars that were being used to drive the individuals to the restaurants.

Detectives discovered the employees were being paid less than the state minimum wage, under the table, and without being taxed. Full-time employees did not receive any employment benefits, the prosecutor’s office said.

The investigation revealed Yonglian Liu was a frequent patron of Anna Nails and Massage, Brunswick Pike. He was observed allegedly taking cash from the spa to the Golden China restaurant in Yardley, Pa. Detectives established the spa, owned by Teng, was allegedly the site of prostitution.

The human trafficking charge carries a prison sentence of 20 years without parole to life in prison, and a fine of up to $200,000, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Several agencies assisted in the investigation, including the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the New Jersey State Police, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the New Jersey Division of Taxation, the New Jersey Department of the Treasury and the Bucks County (Pa.) District Attorney’s Office.

Exit mobile version