May 15, 2019
Las Vegas, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced that three of four defendants have pleaded guilty for their roles in running unlicensed businesses operating as illegal houses of prostitution. The defendants include: Thomas Burnett Leitzen Jr., 42, Tony Matthews, 49 and Alan Russell, 49. Today, Leitzen pleaded guilty to one count of Racketeering, a category “B” felony. Matthews previously pleaded guilty to one count of Pandering, a category “C” felony, and one count of Money Laundering, a category “D” felony. Russell pleaded guilty to one count of Money Laundering. The remaining defendant, Stan Li, 37, is scheduled to enter his guilty plea on June 12, 2019. Charges for Jeff Lin were dismissed as a result of his death during the prosecution of this case.
In November of 2018, the defendants were indicted by a Clark County Grand Jury on 36 felony counts. As alleged in the original indictment, the defendants owned and/or operated two houses of prostitution under the façade of the massage parlors Jade Spa and Mango Spa. Members of the enterprise would induce women to engage in acts of prostitution with paying customers, accept the earnings from known prostitutes, and live off the earnings of these acts of prostitution. Some defendants are alleged to have transported customers to and from the business for the purpose of engaging in prostitution, while others facilitated line-ups with prostitutes for customer selection, counseled the prostitutes on how to avoid law enforcement and laundered money with the intent to further the activity of the brothels. Jade Spa operated in Las Vegas between January 2014 and July 2018, and Mango Spa operated between January 2018 and July 2018.
“Exploiting women for profit will not be tolerated on my watch,” said AG Ford. “These guilty pleas signify my office’s continued commitment to protecting vulnerable Nevadans from exploitation.”
Racketeering is punishable by 60-240 months of imprisonment, Attempt Racketeering is punishable by 12-120 months of imprisonment, Pandering is punishable by 12-60 months of imprisonment and Money Laundering is punishable by 12-48 months of imprisonment. The sentencing hearings for the three defendants are scheduled for later this fall in the Eighth Judicial District Court.
This case was investigated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Special Investigations Section and is being prosecuted the Office of the Nevada Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecution Division.
To view the amended Indictments against Thomas Burnett Leitzen, Tony Matthews and Alan Russell, please click on their respective links.
(Photos are courtesy of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)