Billionaire John Childs prostitution, connection with a Florida spa tied


Billionaire John Childs prostitution, connection with a Florida spa tied.

Billionaire equity firm owner John Childs is one of several men accused of soliciting prostitution in connection with a Florida spa tied to an international human trafficking ring, police said Thursday.

Childs, who lives seasonally in Indian River Shores, is wanted on a solicitation of prostitution charge, according to a warrant for his arrest. He has not been arrested.

Childs owns J.W. Childs Associates, a private equity firm based in Massachusetts.

Childs has not responded to an interview request from TCPalm as of Friday evening. He told Bloomberg that police have not reached out to him about the charge.

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“The accusation of solicitation of prostitution is totally false,” Childs told the outlet. “I have retained a lawyer.”

Childs also lives part-time outside of Boston. According to AffluenceIQ, a website run by another Massachusetts-based equity firm, his net worth is $1.2 billion.

He’s a prominent donor to several Republican politicians and groups, including former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Club for Growth and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney of Utah.

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Childs in the former president of Ducks Unlimited’s Wetlands America Trust.

In 2008, he told TCPalm he moved to Vero Beach to escape the cold.

“I had friends there and I came down, liked what I saw. There were ducks, water fowl, porpoises in the river, even a resident bald eagle in a tree half a mile away, and so I settled in Vero Beach,” he said.

A six-month investigation revealed human traffickers were luring vulnerable women to massage parlors in Indian River County, where they were coerced into working as prostitutes, Vero Beach Police announced Thursday.

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Indian River County agencies issued warrants for 173 people, on charges ranging from human trafficking to racketeering to soliciting prostitution.

Among those named were New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution. A spokesman for Kraft said, “We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity.”


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