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Vic sex worker appeal unsuccessful: court

AAP logoAAP 10/10/2016 Caitlin Guilfoyle

Two people jailed in connection with a Melbourne prostitution racket have lost their bid to appeal.

Moon Ja Kim, 58, and Zhe Fang, 27, pleaded guilty to money laundering offences over the sophisticated 2013 scheme headed by Kim's sister Mae Ja Kim.

The Court of Appeal on Monday dismissed their bid to appeal over their sentences, saying the judge who jailed them last year had delivered a balanced result.

The syndicate's ringleader Mae Ja Kim, 41, recruited women from Southeast Asia and brought them to Melbourne with the promise of good pay and conditions.

She was not licensed to operate a brothel or take any of the earnings.

The prostitutes worked in four licensed brothels in inner Melbourne.

Telephone intercepts revealed Kim discussing how to maximise work the women did, and imposing fines or sacking those who underperformed.

She was living a lavish lifestyle at the time, staying in a luxury Southbank unit, visiting a beauty parlour up to four times a week and dining on restaurant meals that could cost about $2000 in one sitting.

Her sister Moon Ja Kim, Mae Ja Kim's estranged husband, Huan Ye, 34, and associate Fang pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting dealings with the proceeds of crime.

They helped her run day-to-day operations involving the sex workers, including collecting earnings and organising rosters.

All four co-offenders will be released on a two-year, $5000 recognisance after they have served about two years in jail.

Mae Ja Kim's minimum jail term was the longest at two-and-a-half years.

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