LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer is cracking down on brothels and illegal massage parlors.
Feuer announced on Wednesday that he filed abatement lawsuits against owners and operators of four commercial properties in North Hollywood, Eagle Rock and Wilmington. The lawsuits seek to shut down these businesses.
The legal action targets Helen Haihong Huang and Mark Richard Vitatern, who operate MHWI Int'l Inc., and others believed to be associated with a ring made up of at least four businesses.
According to Feuer, two parlors are in Eagle Rock, one at 6630 N. Figueroa St and another at 5740 York Blvd., near the We Tell Stories art school and the Highland Park Foursquare Church, according to the city attorney.
The other businesses in Wilmington, at 1037 Avalon Blvd., and North Hollywood, at 3214 De Witt Drive, are also near churches, he said.
The lawsuits allege that the store fronts serve as covers for prostitution businesses that advertised their services online and used text messages to set up appointments.
The locations have a long history of prostitution arrests. Searches by Los Angeles Police Department officers on Jan. 7 turned up a condom bin at one business and about $80,000 in cash at the home of one of the operators, according to Feuer's office.
Feuer says the alleged ringleaders operated four other businesses in Los Angeles that have since shut down, following several prostitution arrests.
City News Service contributed to this report.