Houston and Beaumont massage parlors close after suspected trafficking, owner banned from business

Jessica Willey Image
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Houston and Beaumont massage parlors close after suspected trafficking, owner banned from business
The owner of a Houston massage parlor that was closed for suspected human trafficking has been banned from the massage business in Texas for life.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The owner of a Houston massage establishment that was closed for suspected human trafficking has been banned from the massage business in Texas for life and has agreed to close.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) has revoked the license for Hsin Wei Chen and the eight Houston and Beaumont businesses he's affiliated with.

The closures came after a Friday settlement agreement with TDLR.

On Monday afternoon, some businesses had not been closed. ABC13 found at least two still open, with a male customer walking out of one on Bellaire Blvd.

TDLR Communications Manager Tela Mange said this all stems from an unannounced visit last month at Foot Reflexology Star on Spring Cypress, which is owned by Chen, where an inspector found evidence of human trafficking.

"She saw a number of things that we know are indicators of possible human trafficking that was occurring, including people living in the establishment, luggage, and large amounts of food," she said of the establishment where the sign still reads "FU Massage."

House Bill 3579, which went into effect in September 2023, gave TDLR the power to immediately take action against a business suspected of human trafficking and shut it down for 6 months.

However, instead of waiting out the six-month period of temporary closure, Mange said Chen decided to quit the massage business and shut down all his establishments.

When reached by text, Chen told ABC13, "I don't want to talk about it."

The agreement revokes Chen's license and the licenses of the following establishments:

  • Foot Reflexology Star, 10801 Spring Cypress Rd., Ste. 12, Houston
  • Sunny Foot Massage, 10950 FM 1960 W., Ste. B, Houston
  • L&P Massage LLC, 2808 Hwy 6 S., Ste. IA, Houston
  • A Massage d/b/a A Reflexology Massage LLC, 2570 I-10 E, Beaumont
  • Heavenly Massage LLC d/b/a Heavenly Massage, 12989 Bellaire Blvd, Ste. 7 A, Houston
  • Everlasting Bliss d/b/a Heavenly Massage, 12989 Bellaire Blvd, Ste. 7 A, Houston
  • Ivy Massage, 1780 N. Major Dr., Beaumont
  • Ly Massage, 17802 W. Little York Rd., Ste. D, Houston

If Chen is found to be working in the massage therapy industry again in Texas, he could face additional penalties, said TDLR.

Anyone who suspects human trafficking is occurring can contact the National Hotline for Human Trafficking at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). If the situation is an emergency or you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911 and alert the authorities.

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