WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Recently unsealed search warrants reveal Jupiter Police are investigating several bank accounts associated with the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.
A prostitution bust led at the spa led to charges against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and dozens of others.
In February, a judge granted three search warrants to Jupiter Police to freeze and investigate bank accounts at JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America associated with spa managers Hua Zhang and Lei Wang and one other spa worker.
Police say there are at least nine Bank of America accounts and three JP Morgan accounts now under investigation.
To date, police have received at least five search warrants in the case: three for bank records, two for installing GPS tracking devices on Wang and Zhang’s vehicles, and one for installing secret video surveillance inside the massage rooms and lobby.
The search warrants for the tracking devices and video surveillance have not been made publicly available, but they are referenced in the search warrants for the bank accounts.
Former prosecutor and current defense attorney Patrick McKamey said it’s important to note that the surveillance is video only – not audio.
He thinks that could pose a problem for prosecutors if these prostitution cases go to trial.
“Clearly on video you can see sex acts, however without the audio the state has the burden of proof that this was a solicitation for a sex act,” McKamey said. “With no audio, how are they going to prove the sex act was unsolicited?”
McKamey also points out that there is no evidence in these bank account search warrants to support claims of human trafficking.
Only once in the warrants do police use the phrase “possible human trafficking” to describe the conduct inside the parlors.
“You've heard a lot about that but haven't seen arrests [for trafficking] at this point,” he said. “It does not appear at this juncture that they've been able to establish that anyone was being held against their will there or was a victim of human trafficking.”
McKamey said police may be probing these bank accounts to see if money is being sent to other people and places, as part of a larger human trafficking network.
He said in order to prove trafficking was involved, police may have to get the women who worked at these spas to cooperate and testify.