Los Angles City Attorney Mike Feuer has launched a crackdown against massage parlors believed to be fronts for brothels.

He filed a nuisance abatement lawsuit Feb. 10 against massage joints in Eagle Rock, Wilmington and North Hollywood.

“We allege these massage parlors are epicenters of illicit activity that exploit women and blight communities,” said Feuer in a statement.

The lawsuit accuses several business owners of operating a ring of brothels, including alleged ringleader Helen Haihong Huang, who was “previously arrested on multiple occasions for prostitution at massage parlors,” according to Feuer’s statement.

His office purports that the businesses – two of which are near churches and the other close to a school – advertised “prostitution services” online and via text messaging.

The city attorney’s statement added that a police raid last month recovered a bin of used condoms at one of the locations and $80,000 in cash at the owners’ homes.

The lawsuit seeks civil penalties and an injunction preventing the defendants from operating massage parlors in Los Angeles.

Valuable Knowledge

Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, who has represented some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, is preparing to share the secrets of his success with law students.

The principal of downtown L.A. criminal and civil defense firm Geragos & Geragos has devised a four-day seminar on advanced cross-examination.

He will teach the course this May at the National Family Law Trial Institute in Houston.

“Mark will be teaching investigative skills and some of his strategies in cross-examination so that our students can be more effective as trial lawyers,” said Stephen Kolodny, co-chair of the program.

Geragos has litigated some of the most headline-hitting trials of recent memory. He handled Winona Ryder’s shoplifting case, defended Michael Jackson during his molestation allegations and also represented Chris Brown when the singer was charged with assaulting his then-girlfriend Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

Intelligence Gathering

Global investigative, cyberdefense and asset recovery firm K2 Intelligence has opened an office in downtown Los Angeles. 

The location could prove advantageous for a firm that spends a great deal of time assisting Hollywood celebrities that have become victims of network hacking and online stalking.

But such cases are nothing new for head of client services Jordan Arnold. Prior to joining K2 Intelligence, he worked as a prosecutor for the New York County District Attorney’s Office, handling cases such as a stolen wedding video belonging to Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.

With so many clients on the West Coast, it pays off to have an office in Los Angeles, said Brant Tinsley, 45, a new managing director at the firm.  

“Entertainment is a big industry for us,” he said. “There are a lot of engagements that come up from the industry.” 

Co-founded in 2009 by Jeremy Kroll and his father, Jules, K2 Intelligence’s

300 employees around the world include many former prosecutors, private attorneys, forensic accountants and FBI agents.

Last year, the New York-based Association of National Advertisers selected K2 Intelligence to look into reports that media agencies are secretly collecting undisclosed rebates from U.S. vendors. The firm was also involved in recovery of the assets for victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. 

The newly formed L.A. team will have two or three full-time practitioners and focus on internal investigations, corporate financing, business conflicts and managing for high-net-worth individuals.

The company also has offices in New York, London, Tel Aviv, Geneva and Madrid.

Legal Landscape

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton has promoted Ruben Escalante to partner in its downtown L.A. office. … Kendall Brill & Kelly has welcomed Randall Jackson in the L. A. office as a new partner. … Downtown L.A.’s Parker Mills has elected Elliott Benjamin to the firm’s partnership. ... K&L Gates has welcomed John M. Pierce as partner from Latham & Watkins. … McGuireWoods hired Mark Spitzer as partner from Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Century City. … Pepper Hamilton welcomed Marion Hack as partner from Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt in Los Angeles. … Raj Tanden has joined Foley & Lardner as a partner in the L.A. office. He was previously with Buchalter Nemer’s corporate and tax practice groups. … John Carson has joined the L.A. office of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie. Carson was named Los Angeles Trademark Lawyer of the Year in 2015 by Best Lawyers in America. … Michael Mancini has joined Lathrop & Gage’s business litigation practice as counsel in Los Angeles. Mancini previously owned and operated his own litigation boutique. … Katten Muchin Rosenman has named entertainment attorney Zia Modabber as managing partner of its L.A.-area offices.

Staff Reporter Olga Grigoryants can be reached at ogrigoryants@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 226.

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