Twenty massage therapists in Bellevue face fraud charges after a nine-month long investigation that a number of massage therapists had obtained their licenses using counterfeit credentials, according to the Bellevue Police Department.
The investigations .
The most recent arrests and citations were made Thursday, according to Bellevue Police spokesman Officer Seth Tyler.
Police spokeswoman Officer Carla Iafrate told Bellevue Patch last month that the investigation targeted individuals with improper licenses, not businesses, although some of the businesses did close after the arrests.
The Bellevue Police vice division has been investigating since September, when it received information from the Washington State Department of Health and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that a number of regional massage practitioner’s licenses had been obtained fraudulently.
The Bellevue Police Department reported that the therapists used suspected counterfeit credentials when applying to the Washington State Department of Health for a license to practice massage therapy.
According to the Bellevue police department, the people suspected claimed to have gone to school in China for the credentials, but they would have been unable to receive the listed massage training in China during the times listed on the applications.
Bellevue Police officers conducted a check of several massage parlors in the city of Bellevue on May 24, resulting in the arrest of 10 individuals and the citation of three, according to the Bellevue police department.
Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection provided Mandarin translators during the arrests, the Bellevue police reported.
The investigation is ongoing.
Affected Massage Parlors
Massage therapists who face charges after the fraud investigation worked for the following massage parlors. However, many of the following businesses also employed therapists with legitimate licenses.
Lotus Herbal Spa
Chi Energy Spa
Jin Health Spa
Kings Spa or Able Spa or Massage Spa
Aloha Spa (now called Lavender Spa)
-- List provided by the