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Man gets 4 years for prostitution ring

world Updated: Jul 31, 2009 13:56 IST

AP
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A man who forced at least three women into prostitution has been sentenced to a little more than four years in prison.

Chomphoonut Dongird, 52, ran three massage parlors in the Seattle area. Prosecutors said he brought women from Thailand and California to work for him from 2005 to last year, and forced some to engage in prostitution to pay him back.

He also arranged sham marriages, charging the women thousands of dollars to enable them to remain in the U.S.

Dongird pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to transport individuals in furtherance of prostitution. The government is seeking to have him pay $150,000 in restitution to two of the women forced to perform the sex acts.