- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - An alleged Hawaii brothel owner tried to bribe federal agents in exchange for protection from raids, help with the U.S. citizenship test and recruitment of prostitutes, Homeland Security investigators said.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday in federal court accuses Biyu Situ of bribing a Homeland Security Investigations special agent last year. The document says she made the offer in January 2015 after two Chinese women at her Mayflower massage parlor in Honolulu’s Century Center were arrested for prostitution during a joint operation with Honolulu police and Homeland Security Investigations to find potential human trafficking victims.

When two special agents from Homeland Security Investigations arrived to do a follow-up interview with Situ, she allegedly told them she wants the same arrangement her friend’s massage parlor has with a Honolulu law enforcement officer. She said her friend runs a prostitution business and pays an officer who tips her off about any law enforcement activity.

Situ said “it was hard for her to operate her business successfully with so much law enforcement activity,” the complaint said.

The agent turned down the bribe, along with a veiled offer of sex, according to the court document.

A few months later, a confidential informant met with Situ to discuss her new massage parlor called Blue Angel. Situ told the informant she invested $115,000 in the business. During the conversation, Situ allegedly took calls from customers seeking massage and sex appointments. The complaint says she directed callers to Blue Angel at downtown’s Kukui Plaza.

Situ asked the informant about immigration connections and suggested she could pay $10,000 a month or every few months for protection of Blue Angel, the complaint said.

During an undercover sting in June 2015, the agent Situ allegedly propositioned previously met with her to discuss protection for her prostitution business. She wanted the agent “to stop law enforcement raids and inspections on Blue Angel or give her advance warning of law enforcement raids and inspections on Blue Angel,” the complaint said.

She allegedly gave him $5,000 in cash to start, and she promised about $15,000 when her business improved.

When the agent asked if there was anything else he could do for her, she had a few more requests: help obtaining U.S. citizenship without taking a test because she failed it, and recruitment of prostitutes.

She allegedly gave him another $5,000 in cash for the citizenship help and promised $500 to $2,000 for each prostitute he recruited from other massage parlors.

Situ couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday. There was a warrant out for her arrest. A lawyer who represented her in a 2012 prostitution case in state court didn’t immediately return phone calls seeking comment. Those charges were dismissed.

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