A Telugu businessman-turned-film producer and his wife were arrested in Chicago on charges of running a sex racket by exploiting upcoming actresses.
Though Modugumudi Kishan (34) and his wife Chandra (31) were arrested in the last week of April, the case came to light only on Wednesday when local media reported that the federal police had filed a 42-page charge sheet in a district court in Chicago.
According to reports, the couple ran a high-end prostitution ring by luring actresses from Tollywood, as the Telugu film industry is known, to the US and advertising them for sex at Indian conferences and cultural events across the country. The couple allegedly charged clients up to $3,000 per sexual encounter.
A report, quoting the charge sheet, said while in the US on temporary visas, at least five actresses were sometimes forced to stay in a dingy, two-story apartment building in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin neighbourhood waiting for their next “date”. They also met clients in hotels at conferences in Dallas, New Jersey and Washington.
Kishan, an NRI businessman who rose to become a top producer in Tollywood and has co-produced several hit films, allegedly threatened one of the actresses and her family if she told law enforcement agencies about what she did in the US.
Kishan’s wife, Chandra allegedly kept detailed ledgers of the sexual acts performed by each girl, including about where they occurred and how much they collected.
Federal agents discovered the ledgers during a search at the couple’s apartment in West Belden Avenue.
The police also discovered dozens of text messages from Chandra’s phone in which she was haggling with clients over which girls were available and the prices for each. Often, she would send photos of an actress available for a date while negotiating, the charge sheet said.
The federal police had filed a case a few months ago and the couple was on the run, before being arrested in late April.
Kishan and Chandra have been in federal custody since their arrest in late April in suburban Washington DC. The couple’s two school-aged children, meanwhile, are in the custody of child welfare officials in Virginia.