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US cops lift lid on Tollywood sleaze;expose high-end filmi sex racket

US cops lift lid on Tollywood sleaze;expose high-end filmi sex racket
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Highlights

In what brings shame to the Indian film industry in general and Tollywood in particular, a Telugu couple is being prosecuted by the federal court in Chicago for running a high-profile sex racket involving small time film actresses from Tollywood. 

Hyderabad: In what brings shame to the Indian film industry in general and Tollywood in particular, a Telugu couple is being prosecuted by the federal court in Chicago for running a high-profile sex racket involving small time film actresses from Tollywood.

According to media reports from Chicago, recently-unsealed federal charges accuse the Chicago couple of Indian descent of running a high-end prostitution ring to lure actresses from Tollywood to the US and advertise them for sex at Indian conferences and cultural events across the country.

Federal prosecutors say that the ring charged clients up to $3,000 for each sexual encounter, according to a 42-page criminal complaint filed in US District Court in Chicago.

The actresses, being brought on temporary visas, at least five actresses a time, were forced to stay in a dingy, two-story apartment building in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin neighborhood waiting for their next ‘date,’ the charges alleged. They also met clients in hotels at conferences in Dallas, New Jersey and Washington.

According to Chicago Tribune, the prostitution scheme was allegedly masterminded by Kishan Modugumudi, a 34-year-ol businessman who rose to become a player in the Tollywood movie industry and co-produced several hit films. Modugumudi allegedly threatened one of the actresses and her family of dire consequences if she told law enforcement agencies the truth about what she did while in the country.

The report further says that Modugumudi told the woman, identified in the charges only as Victim A, that “it would be nothing for him to harm her if she talked to the police about him because she is small and unknown, not a big actress,” the complaint alleged.

Also charged was Modugumudi’s wife, Chandra, 31, who allegedly kept detailed ledgers of the sex acts performed by each girl, including where they occurred and how much they collected.

Federal agents discovered the ledgers when they searched the Modugumudis’ apartment in the 5700 block of West Belden Avenue in February, according to the news report. They also found more than 70 condoms divided up into “multiple Ziplock bags.”

Agents later obtained a search warrant for Kishan Modugumudi’s email accounts and discovered a note written by Victim A in December begging him to stop harassing and threatening her, according to the complaint.

Modugumudi and his wife have been in federal custody since agents arrested them in late April in suburban Washington DC, on a warrant, records show.

At a detention hearing last week in federal court in Chicago, the couple, dressed in jail clothes, listened to the proceedings through a Telugu interpreter. The couple’s two school-age children, meanwhile, are in the custody of child welfare officials in Virginia.

Ironically, some of the alleged victims of the scheme appeared less than cooperative when questioned by US authorities — including Victim A, who claimed that she never actually had sex with clients but just spent time with them and “asked for help,” says the report.

One client, identified as Individual G, later acknowledged meeting Chandra Modugumudi in the lobby of the Comfort Suites at O'Hare in 2016 and paying her $1,110 in cash to have sex with an actress who was staying in one of the rooms there, according to the complaint.

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