Crime

Miami woman’s beauty supply businesses were front for prostitution, police say

Margarita Chiriboga was arrested Wednesday and charged with running two businesses in Miami-Dade that were fronts for prostitution. Police allege her employees sold massages and sexual acts inside the abandoned looking stores.
Margarita Chiriboga was arrested Wednesday and charged with running two businesses in Miami-Dade that were fronts for prostitution. Police allege her employees sold massages and sexual acts inside the abandoned looking stores. Miami-Dade police

Employees at Dolls Beauty Products didn’t sell cosmetics or hair dye, according to Miami-Dade police. They sold sex.

Margarita Chiriboga was arrested Wednesday and charged with running two businesses in Miami-Dade that were fronts for prostitution. Police allege her employees sold massages and sexual acts inside the abandoned-looking stores.

The details below were released in an arrest warrant for Chiriboga first issued in early December:

Miami-Dade police officers began investigating one of Chiriboga’s businesses in September 2015 following an anonymous tip. When an officer visited the business, she found what looked like an abandoned office with blacked out windows, not “Dolls Beauty Products.”

Inside, the waiting room had two couches and an array of massage lotions. The officer tried to buy beauty products but was turned away. Workers told the officer the owner was “Margarita” and offered a phone number that showed up in multiple online advertisements for sex, police said.

An officer called the number and arranged an appointment at the store, located at 12260 SW Eighth St. Once inside, he agreed to pay $120 for a massage. The officer was settled in the massage room, where the woman offered to massage and masturbate him for $150. She removed her clothing, massaged his back for a few seconds, then “made an overt move toward his genital area,” according to the warrant.

That’s when the undercover officer gave the “take down” signal. The masseuse and another woman inside the business were both arrested. They told police their job was to give customers a back rub and any sexual act they were willing to pay for. The base price was $120, with $60 of it going to Chiriboga.

Months later, a female undercover officer visited Chiriboga’s other location, at 10665 SW 190 Street, in January and posed as a job applicant. She wore a video and audio recording device for her interview with Chiriboga, where she had the woman explain how the business worked and what sex acts she was expected to do.

During the interview, Chiriboga left briefly to have sex with a customer, according to the warrant. She returned 15 minutes later and told the undercover officer, “look how quick that was.”

The officer asked if she could turn down potential customers, and according to the warrant, Chiriboga replied, “NO! This is a job not a luxury, you will get fired.”

Over two and a half years, the warrant said bank records showed Chiriboga paid herself $5,000 a month and transferred more than $75,000 into her personal savings account.

Chiriboga turned herself in for arrest on Wednesday and was charged with profiting from prostitution, money laundering, maintaining a house of prostitution and soliciting prostitution, among other charges.

Alex Harris: 305-376-5005, @harrisalexc

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