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Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | Back issues
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USDA Worker Accused of Using Fed Computers to Run Prostitution Business

ST. LOUIS (CN) - A former Department of Agriculture statistician is accused of using her government computer to run an online prostitution business. The business operated under the names Darc Phoenix and USA Honies and allegedly hired women from Tennessee, St. Louis and Kansas City to work as prostitutes in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas.

A federal grand jury indicted John O. Miller, 36, and Laurie Lynn McConnell, 26, both of Kansas City, on charges of conspiracy to launder money and prostitution-related charges.

Prosecutors say McConnell and Miller ran two online prostitution businesses from McConnell's computer at the USDA, where she worked as a statistician from August 2003 to April 2008.

Miller was indicted on one felony count of conspiracy to use the facilities of interstate commerce, such as cell phones and computers, to promote prostitution; and one felony count of money laundering.

McConnell, was indicted on one felony count of conspiracy to use the facilities of interstate commerce to promote prostitution, one felony count of money laundering and one felony count of enticement.

If convicted, Miller and McConnell each face up to 20 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

"It is always disappointing when federal government employees misuse government resources," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael W. Reap in a statement. "However, it is deeply disturbing when those resources are utilized to commit a crime and exploit women."

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