Bridgeville building owner aids in spa investigation
The South Fayette tax collector who owns a Bridgeville building raided for suspected prostitution gave police rental and financial records on the 88 Spa and filed papers seeking to evict the business, Bridgeville police Chief Chad King said Thursday.
Kevin Biber, the owner of the building at 600 Washington Ave., continues to cooperate with the investigation and has not been charged in connection with the operation, police said.
Officers raided the spa on Tuesday after a 14-month undercover investigation on suspicions that it served as a front for prostitution, King said. Police arrested three women in their 50s at the spa, in the first-floor rear of the building in Bridgeville's main business district. Court records show West View-based attorney James Herb represents the women, but he did not return a call for comment.
Biber, who owns the two-story building in Bridgeville's main business district and runs Greentree Investment Services from the rear of the second floor, was not at his office Thursday. He did not respond to phone calls.
As the elected real estate tax collector for next-door South Fayette, he draws a $10,000 annual salary.
King said Biber could receive a municipal citation for “keeping a disorderly house” because even if he didn't know what was happening under his roof, he bears some responsibility.
Neighbors and police said 88 Spa rented space since late 2011. Other tenants in the building said the business appeared to have put considerable time and money into improving the space. The spa could be entered only through a metal door at the rear of the building off Taylor Way.
Tenants said they saw only men patronize the spa. Sometimes the men would mistakenly enter the front of the building looking for it, they said.
On Tuesday, Bridgeville police and the FBI — which is investigating whether the spa also served as a front for human trafficking — raided the business and arrested Ok Ja Ko, 52; Chong Hee Kil, 57; and Heemae Jeong, 58, on charges of prostitution and conspiracy.
The women were bailed out of Allegheny County Jail on Wednesday for $5,000 each. Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for March 25.
State records show 88 Spa was incorporated last February as a “non-stock corporation,” listing no officers or owners. The only name on the articles of incorporation was the attorney who filed the papers, Lynn Emerson of Oakdale-based BusinessLegal, PC, a firm that helps small-business owners set up under state law.
“They seemed very straightforward,” said Emerson, who declined to discuss more about the people who came to her to incorporate the spa. “We have a lot of people coming through, and I don't really get that involved in what they're doing.”
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or email@example.com.
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Wilkinsburg couple arrested after baby girl dies following beating
- Ferrante trial: Cyanide order form in plain sight
- PennDOT warns of delays next week on Butler Street near Highland Park Bridge
- State’s ‘public-private’ transportation deal will replace 53 bridges in Allegheny County
- Howard Hanna family donates $1M for business student scholarships at University of Pittsburgh
- Bridge work to close Cliff Mine Road this weekend
- Move-in begins at new homes on site of Hill District housing project
- Port Authority steps closer to linking Oakland and Downtown, makes switch from Highmark to Aetna
- VA promotion for administrator stuns legislator
- Report linking field surface to cancer elicits Mt. Lebanon protest
- Allegheny County health officials call on retirement homes to stay vigilant on Legionella prevention