Grand Junction ‘Johns’ leave credit card trail

Paul Shockley
Grand Junction correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. “At least 43 people from 14 states used their Discover credit cards to pay thousands of dollars for alleged prostitution services at Nan O’Reilly’s Grand Junction massage parlor over a five-year period, according to court records made public Tuesday.

While “cooperating witnesses” admitted to paying between $100 and $300 for various sex acts, including intercourse, authorities allege Fuji Oriental Massage Therapy, 762 Horizon Drive, didn’t offer any legitimate massage service costing more than $80 per hour, according to those same records.

The business sold no products.

O’Reilly, 58, Fuji’s owner for 14 years, was formally charged Tuesday with two counts of racketeering, two counts of pimping and filing a false tax return, as well as misdemeanor charges of keeping a place of prostitution, promoting sexual immorality and pandering.

O’Reilly sat shackled Tuesday morning next to attorney Stephen Laiche in district Judge Valerie Robison’s courtroom. The proceedings were translated via telephone by a Korean-language interpreter.

O’Reilly is scheduled to return to court Dec. 10.

Laiche said he may argue for a lower bond at that time. O’Reilly’s being held at the Mesa County jail on a $250,000 bond.

According to the documents released Tuesday, O’Reilly allegedly paid regular salaries to prostitutes. The records do not address the alleged prostitutes or whether they’re largely local women or foreign nationals.

The alleged criminal enterprise involving O’Reilly and Suk Young Yu, 52, used several business entities, including Spring LLC, Spring Inc. and Tiger Lilly Inc. O’Reilly allegedly filed a false tax return for 2007. The records released Tuesday said she reported $229,531 worth of income, which doesn’t include some $70,208 that bank records show she collected that same year.

Yu was arrested last week in Illinois on a $100,000 Mesa County warrant for pimping.

The 43 alleged customers indentified in the records all paid via the same method ” Discover credit cards.

Fuji also accepted cash.

Discover charges totaled $15,712 between February 2003 and March 2008; there were several frequent customers, according to the records. One DeBeque customer visited eight times over two years, spending $1,480. Eight customers were Grand Valley residents, while most were card holders living in elsewhere, including Oregon, New York and New Orleans.

Three transactions are specified as a “person unknown to District Attorney.”

More Johns will likely turn up. Investigators have served subpoenas on larger credit card providers, including Mastercard and Visa, in a search for transactions specific to O’Reilly’s business.

But don’t look for hundreds of Johns turning up at local courts.

“Solicitation is not the focus of this investigation,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said.

The documents released Tuesday identify Johns only by first and last initial, the date of the alleged transaction and the amount paid.

“We thought it was sufficient without needlessly damaging families,” Rubinstein said of the DA’s decision to exclude names of Johns. “Some of these people will be asked to come and testify.”