CRIME

Otasowie Asuen sentenced to nearly 3 years for online prostitution racket

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - The owner of an online prostitution ring that generated nearly $2 million from across metropolitan Washington has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison.

Thirty-two-year-old Otasowie Asuen of Washington pleaded guilty in June to a racketeering offense in federal court in Alexandria. He admitted employing more than 50 prostitutes recruited from across North America through ads on the Craigslist and Backpage websites.

In 2009 Asuen started the escort service, which operated under the names Prime DC and DMV INDYS, after losing his job at a law firm.

The prostitutes kept 60 percent of the money they received, and Asuen kept 40 percent. Asuen apologized for his actions and said he was motivated by greed. The 33-month sentence was in line with what prosecutors had sought.

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