Cash seized from alleged Richmond, B.C., bawdy house could be forfeited - InfoNews

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Cash seized from alleged Richmond, B.C., bawdy house could be forfeited

April 03, 2019 - 1:10 PM

VICTORIA - British Columbia's director of civil forfeiture is taking steps to seize thousands of dollars from a couple accused of running a brothel in Richmond that was alleged to have used a 13-year-old as a prostitute.

The B.C. Supreme Court civil claim filed on March 27 says an investigation began in 2017 when RCMP were informed a girl was working as a prostitute at a home in Richmond.

The court document says police searched the property and seized firearms, ammunition, Canadian and U.S. cash valued at nearly $20,000 and a "score book" listing female names, services rendered and prices.

The civil claim alleges Riza Nasayao Dela Fuente and her husband, Peter Ross Nelson, ran the bawdy house, employing the teen on at least three separate occasions in a single week in 2017, paying her approximately $1,000 for escort services.

The director of civil forfeiture alleges in the statement that the money seized was used by Nelson and Dela Fuente "to engage in unlawful activities," but Dela Fuente is disputing the allegation and has filed paperwork to have it returned.

The couple has not provided a response to the civil claim and none of the allegations has been proven in court.

The claimed cash includes $12,225 Canadian and $5,626.01 in U.S. funds, which at current exchange rates would be valued at just under $7,500 in Canada, and the suit seeks to have the money, its proceeds and any interest forfeited to the provincial government.

"Mr. Nelson and Ms. Dela Fuente obtained the money by participating in the unlawful activity," the lawsuit says.

"If the money is released to Mr. Nelson and Ms. Dela Fuente it will likely be used for the unlawful activity," the claim alleges.

The statement of claim says other items seized by police included a set of "house rules" for females employed at the property, online ads, including one for the 13-year-old girl, and work schedules for female employees.

Along with 17 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition found in the home, court documents show seven cell phones were recovered but had been "remotely wiped before officers could secure them."

Various electronics, jewelry, foreign currency and documentation in the names of Dela Fuente and Nelson are also listed, but the director of civil forfeiture is only seeking to immediately retain the U.S. and Canadian funds.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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