US: Lawyer for massage parlor owner: Yang is 'living the American dream' - PressFrom - US
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USLawyer for massage parlor owner: Yang is 'living the American dream'

22:31  14 march  2019
22:31  14 march  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

Founder of massage parlor where Kraft was arrested is a Trump donor, Mar-a-Lago partygoer and White House guest

Founder of massage parlor where Kraft was arrested is a Trump donor, Mar-a-Lago partygoer and White House guest The Chinese entrepreneur who founded Orchids of Asia Day Spa & Massage was seen rooting for the New England Patriots at Mar-a-Lago alongside President Donald Trump early last month. Li Yang shared a photo of herself and a friend sitting directly behind President Trump at the event, which took place just two weeks before Patriots owner Robert Kraft would be charged with two counts of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution for incidents that allegedly transpired at that spa.

Lawyer for massage parlor owner: Yang is 'living the American dream'© via Facebook

HIGHLAND BEACH, Florida — The lawyer for the former owner of a Florida massage parlor says her client, who watched the Super Bowl with President Donald Trump, is just a hardworking Chinese immigrant "living the American dream" and despite media reports to the contrary has never tried to sell access to Trump.

Li "Cindy" Yang owns a number of massage parlors in South Florida, and once owned the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft allegedly solicited prostitution. After Kraft's bust, a selfie of Yang with the president at the Trump International resort's Super Bowl party went viral, followed by questions in the media about whether Yang had exploited her access to him.

Massage parlor magnate helped steer Chinese to Trump NYC fundraiser, attendee says

Massage parlor magnate helped steer Chinese to Trump NYC fundraiser, attendee says A Chinese-American massage-parlor entrepreneur arranged for a group of Chinese business executives to attend a paid fundraiser for President Donald Trump in New York City at the end of 2017, according to a source who was present at the event. 

Michelle Merson, one of the lawyers on a team representing Yang, told NBC News that the accusations have shocked her client, who has not been charged with anything.

"She is being accused of human trafficking, providing favors to Chinese politicians and businesses by selling access to the president," said Merson. "She's being accused of some very, very serious things that she is totally in the dark for… [and] she denies everything."

Though she sold the Orchids of Asia spa long ago, Yang continues to run other day spas, and she contributes money to political and charitable causes, said Merson. Since 2017 Yang has contributed $40,000 to Republican and pro-Trump PACS, according to a review of records, and locals say she was also known for buying tables at charity events around Palm Beach, sometimes paying in cash.

Spa owner whose consulting firm marketed access to Trump is in a ‘nightmare': Lawyer

Spa owner whose consulting firm marketed access to Trump is in a ‘nightmare': Lawyer An attorney for a Florida massage parlor owner whose consulting firm marketed political access to President Donald Trump told ABC News her client has led innocent life.

"As far as we know Ms. Yang was just excited about being involved in politics and charities and all kinds of things in this country," said Merson, acknowledging the firm has just started digging into her case, and had to hire a translator to help with the language barrier. "I think she was just fascinated with Donald Trump the way a lot of people are."

Yang came to the U.S. in 2003, and her English can be hard to understand, according to people who know her from Palm Beach society, and who say racism and the language barrier might be playing a part in the media coverage of Yang.

"She seemed like a nice person, socially out and about," said Karyn Turk, a Palm Beach resident and conservative radio host who is married to one of the lawyers representing Yang.

Carol Brophy, who also appears in Yang's famous selfie with Donald Trump, said she does not know Yang, and said Yang "photobombed" her "moment" with the president.

She Extols Trump, Guns and the Chinese Communist Party Line

She Extols Trump, Guns and the Chinese Communist Party Line The Republican National Committee promised an “evening reception with Donald J. Trump” last March at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. A contribution of $2,700 toward the president’s re-election would get you in the door. Two seats for dinner were on offer for $25,000. And there was a third option: for $50,000, dinner for two and a photo with Mr. Trump. Cindy Yang was determined to get the photo. 

One of Yang's other lawyers, Evan Turk, said "the evidence indicates that our client has been falsely accused in a manner that she may never recover from. "Her name, her reputation and her honor have been destroyed," Turk added.

The White House said in a statement that the president does not know Yang.

Yang wants to clear her name, said Merson, and is worried about being linked to alleged sex trafficking. Kraft was arrested for soliciting prostitution as a byproduct of a larger law enforcement investigation of alleged human trafficking at area massage parlors. According to local police, women were brought from China on temporary work visas believing they would have legitimate jobs.

"She is scared, she is traumatized … she is in hiding," Merson said.

After the Miami Herald published her picture with Trump, Mother Jones reported on her company, GY Investments, and the company's website, which appeared to advertise opportunities to get close to President Trump for a price.

An archived and translated version of her now-defunct website offers opportunities for "taking photos with President Trump" and an "opportunity to interact with the president, the Secretary of Commerce and other political figures."

Merson said Yang is misunderstood and will be ready to tell her story soon. She said Yang has not been contacted by any state or federal investigators and is not a member of Trump's Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago. Some in Palm Beach, however, say that in the past Yang seemed to have the kind of access to the club that members have.

The initiation fee at Mar-a-Lago is $200,000, and annual dues are $14,000.Berndt Lembcke, managing director of Mar-a-Lago, said the club never comments about members or membership.

Kraft has denied wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty.

Kraft won’t accept deal to drop solicitation charges.
Talks have broken down between Patriots owner Robert Kraft and prosecutors in Florida.

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