Popular Southlake Restaurant Loses Liquor License After TABC Investigation
AUSTIN – A Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission investigation uncovered ties between a Tarrant County restaurant and a Dallas massage parlor whose owners are accused of human trafficking, prostitution and other crimes.
Dragon House, located on Southlake Blvd. in Southlake, Texas voluntarily canceled its liquor license after agents from TABC's Special Investigations Unit found evidence that the restaurant's owners were using the business to hide illegal profits from an alleged human trafficking operation at the Jade/Hawaii Spa of Dallas. The business may continue to operate as a restaurant, though it may no longer sell or serve alcohol.
Both businesses were owned by Yong Bei Wang Murphy and Chung Shendelman. The Dallas Police Department arrested and charged the women with prostitution and promotion of organized criminal activity in October following a raid on the massage parlor. That operation resulted in the rescue of six suspected human trafficking victims who were interviewed and turned over to victim services organizations.
A follow-up investigation by TABC found that funds were being sent from the massage parlor to the restaurant, indicating that the restaurant was being used to hide money stemming from illegal activity. Money laundering and prostitution are often connected to organized criminal activity such as human trafficking.
"This case shows that human trafficking can infiltrate a TABC-licensed business, even when the crime itself isn't taking place on the business premises," TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. "By taking action quickly and decisively, we show criminals that they can't use a legitimate business to hide dirty money."
As the state's sole regulator of the alcoholic beverage industry, TABC is the lead agency when it comes to investigating human trafficking within licensed businesses such as bars, restaurants or nightclubs. Since 2013, the agency has cancelled the liquor permits of more than 130 businesses accused of engaging in organized crime including human trafficking, narcotics trafficking and money laundering.
For more information about TABC's efforts to combat human trafficking, visit our Human Trafficking page.
Media Contact:Chris Porter Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462