West Hampstead brothel madam ordered to pay back more than £1.3million

07:00 28 March 2013

Li Ying, of Fortune Green Road, West Hampstead, was found to have made £1,338,891 from running brothels.

Li Ying, of Fortune Green Road, West Hampstead, was found to have made £1,338,891 from running brothels.


A woman who ran 12 brothels across London has been ordered to pay more than £1.3million – or face another five years in jail.

Li Ying, of Fortune Green Road, West Hampstead, made £1,338,891.05 from running brothels in Camden, Barnet. Brent, Ealing, Harrow and Wandsworth, as well as in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, over six years, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Mondey laundering

The 47-year-old – who was jailed after being found guilty of controlling prostitution, concealing criminal property and three counts of money laundering at the same court in July 2011 – was told on Friday she must pay a confiscation order for the full amount she made within six months, or serve an additional five years in prison after her current sentence is complete. She must also provide full documentation of her bank accounts and financial transactions every six months for eight years.

Ying’s empire was discovered after officers came across a safe deposit box containing £150,000 and her fake passport at the Hampstead Safe Depository, Finchley Road, in June 2008.

She was arrested and admitted the money was hers, but provided no explanation for where it had come from, and was released on police bail.

Further investigation revealed a network of brothels, each one operating under a hierarchical system with a number of key players, including Ying, running each one.

A parallel money laundering investigation then led to the freezing of £96,000 in a bank account owned by Ying and identified a further £220,000 which had been transferred to a bank account abroad over the past five years.

Ying was rearrested and charged in April 2009 – but not before she had attempted to conceal nearly half a million pounds more of her ill-gotten gains from police by withdrawing it in cash or transferring it to China.

Investigating officer Det Con Richard Johnson, of the specialist and economic crime command, said: “Ying attempted to hide the money she made from running brothels using numerous aliases and bank accounts, and by desperately trying to move the money out of the country when she knew police were on to her.

“Clearly Ying did not figure on us carrying out the extensive and protracted analysis of her bank accounts that we did, in order to identify the extent of her financial benefit from her crime.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

A row has broken out over plans to dig out a basement car park and swimmming pool next to Hampstead Heath.

Yesterday, 17:15

A heritage campaigner has told of his devastation after he watched raiders ransack a disused pub that he fought to preserve.

Yesterday, 15:45

A historic red phone box in Highgate Village could soon be a tiny office space, complete with printing, scanning, copying and wifi

Yesterday, 11:00

Camden parents were forced to pay a total of £20,000 in school fines in the last year, new figures have revealed.

Yesterday, 07:08

This year’s Hampstead Christmas Festival has been called off, the Ham&High can reveal.

Wed, 19:00

The vicar believes the flags were taken down on both occasions as part of a targeted ‘homophobic attack’ on his church’s open and inclusive values

Wed, 17:39

Women have been warned to be vigilant when using the Black Path in West Hampstead after a lone female was sexually attacked in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon.

Wed, 17:14

An angry churchgoer has written to the Bishop of London suggesting that a Hampstead vicar downsizes his home to raise funds for a dilapidated church.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now