Brothel boss must ‘walk the talk’ after copping hefty fine
A 53-year-old woman who managed prostitutes while running an illegal brothel from a Sunshine Coast motel has copped nearly $6,000 worth of fines.
Yan Jiang, who was 52 at the time, was found to be managing two prostitutes after detectives in December 2020 closed an investigation into illegal sex work at Mooloolaba.
Jiang pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on March 22 to six charges including having an interest in premises used for the purposes of prostitution, knowingly carrying on the business of providing unlawful prostitution, knowingly participating in prostitution and possessing tainted property.
She was sentenced in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Thursday.
An interpreter translated the court proceedings for the mother-of-two.
Police prosecutor Lee Allan said Jiang managed multiple sex workers from the Mooloolaba motel and was involved with the management of more sex workers in other Queensland locations over five months.
"Ms Jiang used numerous mobile phones and advertised on multiple websites and used paper classifieds," he said.
Senior constable Allan said police also found a notebook that detailed bookings and $3016.16 cash.
He suggested a "significant" fine was an appropriate punishment.
The court heard Jiang had no criminal history.
Defence lawyer Jiabei Qi said the single mum, who moved to Australia in late 2013, was unable to find work due to the language barrier and had her left index finger amputated after a farm accident in July 2019.
Ms Qi said Jiang had not recovered from the injury and relied on physical therapy and medication that stopped her from living a normal life.
Ms Qi said Jiang was the primary provider for her family and was "vulnerable and helpless" at the time of the offending.
The court heard Jiang became friends with two sex workers after moving into the Mooloolaba motel where she was given work as a cleaner.
Ms Qi said Jiang felt "indebted" to the sex workers who had volunteered to help her with cleaning and shared their food.
"She started to help them, and she was told that prostitution was legal in Australia," she said.
Ms Qi said Jiang previously taught mathematics as a professor before leaving China to be with her son.
She said Jiang was learning English and looking for programs to gain a better understanding of Australian laws.
"My client hopes to use her brilliant knowledge in mathematics, education and her life experience to make a contribution to the community in the future … once her English improves," she said.
She suggested a fine between $5000 and $8000 and asked Magistrate Rod Madsen not to record a conviction.
Mr Madsen said he believed Jiang knew more about the offending than what she was letting on.
He fined her a total of $5,900 for the offences.
No convictions were recorded.
"She better walk the talk because if there is any repeat of this there is no chance that she could avoid any conviction recorded," he said.