A Milton man who owned a Federal Way bar that authorities say was a front for prostitution was sentenced Friday to six years in federal prison.
Chang Young Kim, 59, also was ordered to pay $112,050 in restitution and more than $1.6 million in back taxes and penalties to the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle said.
Kim, who owned the Blue Moon bar, pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to transport individuals for prostitution, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, bribery of a public official and tax evasion.
Federal prosecutors said Korean nationals working illegally as “bar girls” and prostitutes used the bar as a base with Kim’s knowledge and assistance. He also was accused of offering a $15,000 bribe to an investigator with the state Liquor Control Board, federal prosecutors said.
In a separate case, Kim persuaded two clients of his real estate company, Royal Realty, to invest $400,000 in the purchase of a motel. There was no deal to buy the property, and Kim and two conspirators used the money for their expenses, prosecutors said.
Kim also tried to evade more than $1.6 million in income taxes, according to prosecutors.
“It is as though the defendant had no limits as to how far he would go to lie, cheat and steal,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
They recommended a sentence of six years, six months.
“In order to commit these crimes, the defendant was willing to use his family members to further his personal objectives, causing them to place themselves in financial and legal jeopardy,” prosecutors wrote.
Kim’s attorney, Michael Schwartz of Tacoma, recommended a sentence of three years, six months.
Schwartz wrote in a sentencing memorandum that others involved in running the bar played larger roles in recruiting and managing bar girls than Kim. He also argued that his client is known as “a kind and generous member of the community.”
“This (recommended) sentence reflects the seriousness of the offenses, while a deterrent to others,” Schwartz wrote. “Moreover, Mr. Kim’s children will not be without their father for a long period of time during important years in their lives.”
U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton gave Kim a break, but not much of one, by knocking six months off the prosecutors’ recommendation.
“You were a one-man criminal enterprise … the most instrumental of everyone on a host of fronts,” Leighton said.