Arraignment of Macon businesswoman charged with prostitution, money laundering delayed

hgoodridge@macon.comFebruary 20, 2013 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the type of legal proceeding that was scheduled for Hyeon Joo Chae, 44, owner of Sedona Tanning Salon on Riverside Drive. Below is a corrected version of the story.

A U.S. Magistrate Court judge Wednesday delayed until next week the arraignment proceedings of a Macon businesswoman charged with promoting prostitution and money laundering.

Hyeon Joo Chae, 44, owner of Sedona Tanning Salon on Riverside Drive, appeared in federal court without an attorney or a translator.

Federal and local authorities raided Chae’s salon Friday, charging her with conspiracy to use an interstate facility to promote prostitution and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the indictment.

Chae, also known as Huyn Joo Choi, was led into the courtroom wearing an orange jumpsuit with her legs and arms shackled. She was ordered to remain in Bibb County jail.

U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Charles Weigle told Chae he’s giving her 10 days to retain an attorney. When Weigle asked Chae if she understood everything he was saying, she replied, “about 80 percent.”

Her native language is Korean.

“I need you to understand 100 percent,” Weigle said, adding that the court will locate a translator for her.

Federal and local authorities held a news conference Friday announcing the raid of the business saying it was the result of a four-year investigation.

Officials said the investigation was launched in 2008 following a string of raids at Macon and Bibb County massage parlors. Arrests were made at the then-Soft Hands Massage & Spa. Soon after the busts, Soft Hands Massage & Spa changed its name to Sedona Tanning Salon.

Kye Wol “Kim” Dyreson, 72, and Ki Un “Love” Jordan, 49, were also charged with conspiracy to use an interstate facility to promote prostitution and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the indictment.

To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.

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