Boca Nail Salon Busted Fronting as Prostitution House
A Boca Raton business that claimed to be a "nails, facials, and no massage" spa that has been in business since July 2014 was a front for a brothel, police say. The spa, located at 22 SE Sixth St., allegedly serviced clients with sexual favors for money.
Investigators say they've been monitoring the business since February after receiving multiple reports that the business was offering prostitutes to customers.
During the investigation, cops found used condoms and personal lubricant in a trash bin behind the business. They also found receipts as well as envelopes with employees' names on them that investigators say prove the spa was operating as a prostitution house.
According to WPBF, detectives were able to track down customers who told them they had received sexual favors for money from the establishment.
During the investigation, police obtained a warrant that allowed them to place video recording devices around the business, on the inside and outside of the building. Via surveillance footage, investigators saw the spa's owner, Maria De La Fuente Caro, handling cash and credit cards during transactions that led to sexual activities for clients.
Clients allegedly would be greeted by De La Fuente Caro, 36, or another employee, and then given a choice of sexual activity off a menu of options.
The Sun Sentinel reports that the spa placed an ad in Backpage.com, a website known for advertising prostitution.
In January, an ad popped up on the popular escort website Backpage.com, portraying the business in a very different light. The ad described the establishment as a "New Erotic Boca Spa" offering 23 "gorgeous girls."
From there, investigators began reading reviews of the site and discovered that clients would pay $80 to get into the spa and then pay as little as $60 for certain favors.
A week after reviewing the video, Boca Raton Police arrested De La Fuente Caro on charges of owning a place for prostitution, deriving support from prostitution, and money laundering.
She was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on a $175,000 bond.
Boca Raton Police would not comment on De La Fuente Caro, or the spa, saying that it remains an ongoing investigation.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Broward / Palm Beach, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.