Feds Investigate Massage School Ties to Prostitution

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The Education Department plans to review the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for approving the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, a school with suspected ties to sex trafficking, after a USA Today investigation showed links between massage schools and illicit spas, reports USA Today. The college remains accredited and the Accreditation Commission has approved its ability to receive federal money, despite a finding last year by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education that the Roseville, Minnesota, for-profit college had a “theme of prostitution and/or human trafficking.”

Mark McKenzie, the executive director of the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, said his agency was limited in what it could do about human trafficking within programs it accredits because agencies like his don’t have the same investigative powers as states do. The state agency quickly ordered the school to close or to find a new owner. The college chose the latter and is preparing to start its fall semester. Its new owner disputes the findings of the Minnesota regulators.

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