Last month’s blog post settled with the FBI’s arrests of William Foster, Ashleigh Holloway and Hanah Chan.
Foster had been charged with an array of sex trafficking charges while Holloway and Chan had soon after surrendered to federal authorities and now face similar charges.
Foster’s complete indictment which was unsealed on December 9 of this past year charge him with sex trafficking of a minor, conspiracy to sex traffic a minor and transporting with the intent to engage in prostitution. Holloway and Chan who were alleged to be Foster’s two main recruiters were charged under the same indictment with sex trafficking by fraud, coercion or force. Additionally Chan was charged with transporting an individual for prostitution.
The article posted last month focused mostly on one of Foster’s victims who told a story of how she was recruited; promised a fashionable life of luxury before being raped by Foster as a minor and was then turned out on the street into a cycle of sexual slavery.
It turns out that she was allegedly just one of up to sixty women who were led down the wrong path by Foster as he accumulated at least a $2 million fortune off their labors over a period of many years. The latest revelations were revealed during a detention hearing in mid-December for Holloway and Chan.
Holloway is now accused of being Foster’s main recruiter while Chan allegedly managed the enterprise end of Foster’s business, in addition to transporting his mentally captive women across state lines for the purpose of prostitution.
In his argument that these women were a threat to public safety, the AUSA in charge of the detention hearing stated to the Federal Magistrate that “These two women are, frankly, predators… They exploit vulnerable women. They carry his torch,” referring to Foster.
Foster was not present at the hearing.
It was also disclosed at the hearing through federal investigative work that Ms. Chan and Foster were the joint owners of a bank account that showed cash deposits of over $250,000 between early 2017 and mid-2018. A separate bank account tied to Ms. Chan overlapped other cash deposits between 2012 to 2018 of $450,000 throughout the plus six-year period. Chan shows no records of legitimate employment whatsoever going back to 2012. Additionally, she also owned more than $1.2 million in Delray Beach real estate.
Foster’s Care, Inc., a phony non-profit was set up in 2014 before it was dissolved the following year. The business mission stated that it was “a comprehensive restoration program for victims of Human Sex Trafficking,” and “protection in partnership with police and FBI.”
After the dissolution of the corporation, the website remained active with a direct line to Foster’s cellphone listed in plain sight on its contact page. Investigators have since discovered that the website itself wasn’t hosted on the Net until well after the business was shuttered and only went live in the summer of 2019. The address of the enterprise was a UPS store in Fort Lauderdale.
Businessmen that turn a profit know the three things that make a company successful are the expenditures for overhead, labor and the cost of materials affecting their end result. Downtime must also be considered as a factor for a business to turn a profit or face losses.
Some of the cost of materials that Foster allocated funds to were nose jobs, breast enlargements, and other cosmetic surgeries to make the appearance of the “merchandise” he promoted and offered the best product on this illicit market. His overhead was basically only the cost of allowing some of the women to live in any of the three upscale houses he owns in Delray Beach. Obviously his “employees” worked on a small percentage of the overall price paid so the price of labor wasn’t an issue.
But it was travel expenses that finally led to his downfall.
After grooming “his girls” to serve wealthy men outside of South Florida he’d send them to major cities such as Las Vegas, parts of New Jersey and New York City to bring in more revenue.
In 2017 when they were out of town on a trip, two women called the FBI and offered unsettling reports of Foster’s sex trafficking operation telling investigators they were teenagers when Foster first recruited them to first be exotic dancers and then prostitutes. One woman told investigators she worked for him for three years before and up until 2010. The other said she worked for him for nearly seven years starting even earlier, in 2004 to her recollection. At this point federal authorities placed Foster under investigation. The women are only identified as victim one and victim two.
But it was when Hurricane Dorian was barreling up the Florida coast, quickly making its way out of the lower Bahamas, anxious about any loss to his bottom-line Foster decided to send one newly recruited young girl along with six other more experienced ones to Detroit. His instructions to the women was not to return to home base until they accumulated at least $150,000.
One evening as the six other women slept in the hotel, the newly recruited girl (victim 3) made a call to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Police met her at the Detroit-area hotel and helped her gather together her personal effects and get away from the hotel and other women.
After searching the hotel room later, police found a “handwritten thermometer gauge chart” that seemingly tracked the women’s earnings while they visited the motor city. To that point, together they had amassed nearly $37,000 when police raided the hotel in early September. Handwritten notes were found instructing the women how to make more money with mentions of “try to negotiate but take offer” and explicit guidelines relating to sexual acts. Federal agents found similar support of Foster’s guilt when they searched his South Florida homes, including boxes containing exotic dance costumes and bins filled with packages of condoms by the dozen.
Foster had faced similar allegations in the late 1990s. He was charged with endangering children in New Jersey. The charges were eventually dismissed.
But this time the Magistrate was convinced that if Foster was freed on bond, he and his associates would continue the criminal operation. He is now being held without bond until his trial for sex trafficking charges is heard.
Foster now faces a possible sentence of life in prison.
Michael B. Cohen, Esq. is a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney whose expertise in sex crimes cases is extensive. As a former Assistant State Attorney for Broward County, and an Assistant United States Attorney for the government, Mr. Cohen clients receive the best sought possible outcome refuting any charges alleged by the State of Florida or the Federal Government. Working for the prosecution prior to founding his criminal defense practice in the private sector has given him a superior advantage that will result beneficially for those who seek his help. If you, a family member or close friend is charged with any type of human trafficking crime, call Mr. Cohen at the earliest possible time for a free case evaluation.