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Hall County pulls business licenses for massage parlors over complaints
Investigation finds cases of prostitution, sex for hire, officials say
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The business licenses for the five massage parlors in Gainesville with complaints of alleged prostitution and illegal practices have been revoked.

The Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad arrested seven people during a sting between April 20 and May 1.

Lt. Don Scalia said they had received complaints from different people regarding “keeping places of prostitution, prostitution, masturbation for hire and massage without (a) license.”

“We received probably between three and six complaints, but not all in the same day,” he said.

All five businesses were in the city of Gainesville. City Manager Bryan Lackey said the five were Hawaii Spa on McEver Road, Lee’s Spa on Atlanta Highway, Oasis Spa on Atlanta Highway, Orient Massage on Dawsonville Highway and ATR Massage on John Morrow Parkway.

“We get the information from the MANS unit,” Lackey said. “Then, our code enforcement officer goes out with our chief building official to the site ... to investigate whether or not the appropriate business use is happening at the site. In all (five) of these cases, we found that obviously the MANS unit was correct, that there was not the appropriate business use going on at the site.”

Myung Hee Lim, 49, of Oakwood, Sue Yeon Crum, 71, of Lawrenceville, Uni Chong Bell, 63, of Lawrenceville, Zhao Dongming, 50, of Gainesville and Ju Hyun Lee, 44, of Duluth, were charged with keeping a place of prostitution.

Crum, Bell, Dongming, Lee and Shun Zi Li, 48, of Duluth, also were charged with masturbation for hire.

Soo Jin Chang, 46, of Oakwood, was charged with prostitution, and Li was charged with massage without a license.

All of the cases had moved to State Court.

Only Dongming had an attorney, Christine Koehler, on record with the Hall County courthouse. Koehler did not return a request for comment.

The Times made attempts to reach all others charged.

Lackey said three of the businesses were notified of their revoked business licenses around the end of April and the last two businesses were notified in the past week.

The businesses would have the chance to bring their business back into compliance.

“If they come in and show that they are in compliance with the law as far as what they can do and operate within the city, then we’ll allow them to pull another permit to get their (certificate of occupancy) back,” Lackey said. “If they get their (certificate of occupancy), then we will issue another business license for them if they show they are in compliance with our codes.”

Scalia previously told The Times two other businesses were investigated but were “found to be conducting legitimate business at the time of the investigation.”

The lieutenant said they have tried to investigate all of the businesses they could find within the county and city.

“We’re actually going to revisit this issue. This is not going to be something that’s over with now,” Scalia said.