The man alleged by the FBI to own and operate the Washington area's largest, most sophisticated commercialized prostitution business" says he is shutting down his massage parlor operation because of government harassment.
"It is apparent," Louis Michael Parrish, the reclusive Northern Virginia massage entrepreneur, said in papers filed in Alexandria U.S. court, "that no citizen can safely operate a massage parlor with female employes as masseuses."
Parrish, 33, alleged by the FBI to control a dozen parlors and outcall services, said he "is being subjected to potential criminal liability for alleged immoral conduct by employes of the parlors, over whom, he has no control and from which immoral acts he receives no commercial benefit."
More than 60 FBI and police agents raided a dozen Parrish locations two weeks ago, culminating of a year-long investigation into a massage parlor chain that includes four Alexandria parlors and an extensive outcall massage business operating in both Virginia and the District of Columbia. The agents carted away two truckloads of corporate records, promotional material, shotguns, sexual paraphernalia, "preferred customer" files, and other items in raids.
In a motion filed this week to recover original corporate records, Parrish termed the FBI searches an "unreasonable dragnet." He said he would seek to have the evidence suppressed as the results of an illegal search, should criminal charges result from the federal probe.
Parrish did not deny in the court papers that prostitution has flourished in his massage parlor business. If his employes committed sex acts from time to time, he said, he simply had "no control or dominion" over them.
Parrish's attorney, Albert Ahern Jr., said his client was unavailable for an interview yesterday."He did get a bad sort of rap with all those outrageous things put in the (FBI) affidavit," Ahern said. The affidavit was filed to obtain the search warrant, used in the raids.
Parrish acknowledged for the first time in the court papers that he is indeed the sole owner of 10 corporations, which form a corporate "structure," that the FBI said "is designed to insulate Parrish himself from the business enterprises, and, at the same time, to serve as a conduit for income from prostitution activities."
In his motion to retrieve his records, Parrish said he will not challenge the authenticity of copies of the records "in subsequent proceedings that may result from the current investigation." FBI agents are stil sifting through the items seized by the bureau's Washington field office according to federal sources.
Nick Stames, the FBI agent in charge of the Washington office, has said the investigators are looking into possible links between local public officials and the Parrish operations. Parrish is being investigated on possible racketeering and prostitution charges, according to court papers.
Parrish wants the records back, he said in the court papers, to "facilitate the orderly payment of existing obligations" of his 10 corporations.
According to the FBI affidavit, the Parrish parlors are "in fact, centers for commercialized prostiution and for other immoral purposes." The FBI affidavit said the Parrish operation employed an undisclosed number of directors, managers, promoters and approximately 40 massueses.