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Property owners end lease after allegations against tenant

Property owners leasing space to a spa that was allegedly involved in prostitution in Michigan has come to an agreement with prosecutors. On Dec. 20, prosecutors submitted the agreement, which ended the lease, to a Genesee Circuit judge. Previously, on Dec. 11, a county prosecutor received a temporary restraining order for the closure of the spa due to the prostitution allegations. The owners of the commercial property were not available for comment.

Several local and state agencies then investigated the facility, and court documents indicated that undercover police officers reported that spa workers offered them sexual favors. Once they obtained the restraining order, they could not find the business manager or owner to serve them the documents. However, an attorney who represents the company contacted the county prosecutor. That attorney could not be contacted to provide a statement.

The Flint Area Narcotics Group obtained a search warrant of the property and served it on Dec. 5. They found five people on the premises, including a woman that other employees claim was operating the facility. According to the report, she gave them a number of false names, pretended to speak little English and said she only did basic jobs at the spa.

The county prosecutor does not think the spa owners would fight the closure, and further efforts to contact people responsible for the business were unfruitful. No criminal charges have been filed, and authorities continue to investigate the case.

When a property owner leases space to a business owner, there may be limitations on the activities that can be performed at the location. If, like in this case, the business owner is participating in illegal activity on the site, the property owners might have the right to end a lease agreement prematurely.

Source: Mlive.com, "Building owners agree to end lease for Fenton spa shuttered in prostitution investigation", Gary Ridley, December 20, 2013

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