ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE
Case # 17CF0268, # 17CF0269
February 2, 2017
*Over $469,000 in cash was seized from the defendant at his arrest; Female co-defendant also charged after 8-month investigation by the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force
SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) is seeking potential additional victims of a brothel ringleader charged today with pandering 29 women to commit prostitution at high-end apartments in Irvine. Fadi Boulos Chaiban, 53, Ladera Ranch, is charged with 29 felony counts of pandering, three felony counts of pimping, and two felony counts of conspiracy to commit pandering. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 45 years and four months in state prison. The defendant is being held on $3 million bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond.
Co-defendant Tina Lorraine Saunders, 53, Ladera Ranch, is charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit pimping, conspiracy to commit pandering, pimping, and pandering. If convicted, she faces a maximum of six years in state prison. Saunders is being held on $500,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. Chaiban and Saunders are scheduled to be arraigned today, Feb. 2, 2017, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
Circumstances of the Case
Between April 2015 and January 2017, Chaiban is accused of running a sophisticated brothel operation at multiple high-end apartments in Irvine. Saunders is accused of aiding and abetting Chaiban by renting an apartment for Chaiban to use as a brothel. The defendant is accused of recruiting adult women to work for him by placing Internet advertisements to meet potential victims. Once recruited, Chaiban is accused of taking sexually explicit photographs of more than 28 separate victims and posting their photos of various websites commonly used to advertise prostitution. He is also accused of operating his own website on a unique web domain. Chaiban is accused posing as a woman to communicate with sex purchasers in order to set up prostitution dates.
OCHTTF located several Irvine luxury apartments where Chaiban is accused of arranging for sex purchasers to meet with the victims. During the investigation, OCHTTF and Irvine Police Department (IPD) detectives observed dozens of men going into and out of the apartments in 30-minute and one-hour increments before the victims left each evening. Chaiban is accused of entering the apartments to collect cash earnings left behind by the victims at the end of each day and keeping the majority of the money for himself. The defendant is also accused of maintaining a detailed client list.
On Jan. 31, 2017, OCHTTF arrested the defendants while they were leaving their home. At the time of his arrest, Chaiban is accused of possessing over $469,000 in cash in a storage locker.
The investigation is ongoing. OCDA and OCHTTF encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim or a witness of this high-end brothel operation to contact IPD Detective Hall of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force at 714-765-1904, or OCDA Supervising Investigator Frank Reynoso at 714-347-8560.
Members of the OCHTTF and the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. Demand for commercial sex is a primary factor in human exploitation and trafficking in Orange County. This case was investigated by OCHTTF, a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, IPD, Newport Beach Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Ana Police Department, and community and non-profit partners.
Deputy District Attorney Daniel Varon of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting this case.
Proposition 35 and HEAT
To read more about California’s anti-human trafficking Proposition 35 and the OCDA’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, please visit www.orangecountyda.org and select Human Trafficking Information from the Media Center drop down menu.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Public Affairs Unit