Doctor's assets targeted
at 4:46pm by Jessica Buxbaum
A federal agency wants to seize some of a Bellevue doctor’s assets over his alleged role in prostituting women smuggled into the United States by a sex-trafficking group, seattlepi.com reported.According to court papers, the investigation into the doctor began in November 2012 after the Drug Enforcement Administration learned he was depositing large amounts of money into bank accounts in Bellevue. The DEA might have been called in on the assumption that the physician was profiting from prescription drugs, the news site speculates. But the agency then found the doctor was apparently placing sex-service ads online and renting out apartments for prostitutes. Through a series of sting operations, the DEA discovered that at least six women, who had advertised online, were connected to the doctor and the agents concluded that the doctor’s girlfriend, allegedly a prostitute herself, was managing a prostitution ring of at least 10 women.Unsealed court documents suggest the doctor has laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars through his accounts, wiring some of that money to Thai bank accounts. Authorities believe the women had been smuggled into the U.S. and were attempting to repay the debts they incurred from sex-trafficking organizations. The doctor has not been charged with any crime, but federal prosecutors seized $91,000 from his accounts in February. The prosecutors want the money to be declared the government’s property under the theory that the doctor gained it as a result of illegal activity. Seattlepi reports that the doctor's attorney has not yet responded to the government's claims. — J.B.