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Missouri Attorney General Obtains Consent Judgment in Illicit Massage Business Lawsuit

Oct 4, 2022, 12:54 PM by AG Schmitt
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced today that his Office has obtained a consent judgment in his lawsuit against M&G McClain, LLC (M&G) for violations of the Missouri Public Nuisance Law. The lawsuit was filed in April of 2021, after information came to light that a tenant of M&G was operating a massage therapy business allegedly engaging in illegal prostitution activity.

“Since the creation of the Hope Initiative in October of 2020, my Office has been working diligently to crack down on illicit massage businesses, which are often used as a front to exploit and traffic vulnerable populations,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Our message to those who prey on the innocent through these webs of deceit and exploitation is clear: You are not welcome in the state of Missouri.”
 
The lawsuit alleged that Shangri-La Massage, a tenant of M&G, was using its business as a front to engage in illegal prostitution activity, and was, therefore, in violation of the Missouri Public Nuisance Law.
 
After a thorough investigation that confirmed the alleged illicit activity taking place on their premises, M&G immediately evicted its tenants.
 
As part of the consent judgment, M&G has agreed to refrain from allowing its premises to be used for any illegal prostitution activity. The Attorney General’s Office will also be able to conduct inspections every six months for five years from the date of the consent judgment.
 
The Hope Initiative was launched by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt in October of 2020, to crack down on illicit massage businesses operating in Missouri. The initiative involves working with landlords to inform them of their tenant’s potentially illegal activity and urging them to evict said tenant.
 
The Hope Initiative is the first of its kind nationally, and has won the praise of state attorneys general and local law enforcement.
 
A full description of illicit massage businesses can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/2019/6-18-2020-ht-one-pager-draft.pdf?sfvrsn=5e6da430_2 

Landlords who believe that their tenant is engaging in illicit activity while maintaining the appearance of being a legitimate business are urged to report those tenants here: https://ago.mo.gov/home/human-trafficking/hopeinitiative
 
The consent judgment can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/2022-10-03-consent-judgment---entered-by-court.pdf?sfvrsn=aa7c00b8_2