Seven Greenburgh Area Massage Parlors Closed, 19 Arrested

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This ad for massages at the Aroma Spa in Scarsdale, one of several closed by Greenburgh Police on Thursday, appears online.
This ad for massages at the Aroma Spa in Scarsdale, one of several closed by Greenburgh Police on Thursday, appears online. Photo Credit: Online Ad Yelp

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Greenburgh Police reported Thursday that 19 people had been arrested and seven massage parlors in Greenburgh closed down in a major crackdown that involved Greenburgh Police and state and federal authorities.

The Greenburgh businesses closed are the Crystal Spa on Route 119 in Tarrytown, Forest Yin and Darea 54 on North Central Avenue, Yoyo Healing Spa on East Main Street, and Aroma Spa, Charming Spa and Gili Spa, all located on Central Park Avenue in Hartsdale and Scarsdale.

Police conducted an undercover operation Wednesday, where officers entered the businesses and requested massages. Police executed search warrants, seized business records and made arrests.

The women, who were charged with unauthorized practice of a profession, a felony under the state education law, ranged in age from 28 to 53 and all have Queens, New York addresses. They face felony charges and are accused of operating without proper licensing, Greenburgh Polce said.

"The high level of intelligence sharing and logistical assistance between all of the various agencies concerned was instrumental in closing down the illegal massage parlors in response to the public’s concern,"  Greenburgh Police Lt. Brian Ryan said in a news  release. "The type of establishments targeted in this case has a negative affect with respect to the quality of life in the community. The investigation into these illegal operations is still ongoing."

Authorities have found no evidence the women were offering customers sexual or other illicit activities or that the women were trafficked as sex slaves. The investigation was conducted with the assistance of the federal Department of Homeland Security.

The arrests are the results of a year-long investigation that began in response to resident complaints.

Other agencies involved in the investigation were the New York State Attorney General’s Office, agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, New Yorj State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Elmsford Police Department.

Sixteen of the women are being arraigned Thursday in Greenburgh Town Court. The rest are being arraigned Thursday in Elmsford Village Court.

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my guess s the lisenced escorts from Eros r way more legal and better business

I am just satsfied that I no longer have to pass these places of "business" any longer. Not knowing what they were, and thinking they were true "spas" that offered legitimate massages, wraps, pedicures and manicures and other services to women AND men, I got a most odd reception and a certainly less-than-customer-friendly response when another woman and I tried to book a massage at one of these now-closed establishments. Thank you GPD for getting the job done.

do you really think it was worth spending millions of dollars closing these establishments because you got a "less-than-customer-friendly response" (which is completely incorrect grammar , by the way) obviously, these places had customers, otherwise they wouldn't have been open. common sense? don't you think these officials time would have been better spent going after, say, rapists, murderers, burglars (which we have a lot of in Greenburgh) going after Meth and Heroin Dealers, you really think this time was well spent? closing businesses that were giving massages and doing nails? REALLY?

here's a reasonable suggestion and the way they SHOULD have handled it.

have one official take one 8 hour shift, go to each business, tell them they are operating a business without the proper license, Give them a fine, give them the information needed to apply for the proper licenses, 90% of them would have complied and we would still have 6 businesses operating a legal business in a service that was clearly needed and clearly they had customers all of which whom probably spent money in other establishments in Westchester,

now we have, 7 businesses that are no longer bringing revenue to Westchester, 7 more Empty business properties, 7 Less businesses paying taxes. 19 people that may end up with criminal records, that probably had no idea the businesses were operating without the proper licensees. and who knows the amount of lost revenue from patrons of these establishments that will now, most likely go somewhere else for these services... this is just a huge boondoggle and embarrassment to law enforcement and all the official departments involved.....

if you ask me, this seems like a HUGE waste of resources,

"The arrests are the results of a year-long investigation"

"Other agencies involved in the investigation were the New York State Attorney General’s Office, agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, New Yorj State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Elmsford Police Department. "

How many hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of dollars of taxpayer money went into shutting down these businesses? couldn't their have been better way? perhaps fines, or giving them a gateway to actually getting licenses for their business? this is what it looks like when Law enforcement is out of control and yes, based on what the article states here, It is clearly entrapment,

another thing. They went into this knowing full well..... " Authorities have found no evidence the women were offering customers sexual or other illicit activities or that the women were trafficked as sex slaves.".

We should really be questioning our government, the roles of law enforcement and their priorities and find better ways of handling these types of situations, There clearly could have been a better way to handle this that would not have ruined 19 peoples lives with criminal records, and closed business that were clearly being used and bringing business to Westchester.

And if these people have their cases dropped because of entrapment, isn't this all just a big huge waste of time? perhaps Law enforcements budgets are too high and need to be thoroughly looked at, police oversight is something that New York DESPERATELY needs....

and More Importantly, There are definitely more important things law enforcement could be focusing on,

You can request a beer at a bar. If they sell it to you without a license, is that entrapment?

It depends upon who is the "you" requesting a beer. If it is the police seeking to make an arrest, yes it is entrapment.

Isn't entrapment when the Police knowingly lure persons into performing an illegal act? If the criminal action being charged against the women is "unauthorized practice of a profession" then "police entered the premises and REQUESTED massages" and did so only after a "year long investigation", then isn't such an intentional and combined effort among enforcement agencies the foreplay to entrapment?

While the result is laudable, it appears to me (based only upon what appears in this story which I have no reason to doubt) then another explanation is that the Police went fishing fully expecting to find evidence of sexual misconduct and settled for second prize while achieving the community's goal of shutting the places down.

I could offer a pat on the back to all concerned but that might make me subject to the same prosecution.