INVESTIGATION – Blog Uncovers Sex Offender Promising Maids Lavish New Life in Vegas

Hong Wrong ExclusiveAn American using the alias Steve Austin Conway has set up several websites to attract Hong Kong’s domestic workers to join a membership club and attend ‘parties’ with the promise of work in Las Vegas as luxury hotel maids. NGOs and helper agencies have raised concerns that his Hong Kong business is suspicious, whilst a 2-week investigation by Hong Wrong confirms that Conway is, in fact, a convicted paedophile from Seattle named Earl Lynn Bagley.

Bagley was a wanted fugitive until February 4th, 2013 when he was arrested in the Philippines and extradited to the US for failing to sign onto the sex offenders’ register. He came to Hong Kong last autumn, though a US Dept. of Justice website states that he – again – has been in violation of his obligations to sign onto the sex offenders’ registry since November 29th last year. No US bodies would comment as to whether he was being sought by authorities. It is unclear if he has a Hong Kong work visa.

In 2004, Bagley was sentenced to 51 months custody, including 3 years supervised release. Now aged 61, he remains on the California and Washington sex offender registries following 4 convictions including possession of child porn, child molestation, ‘oral copulation with a minor under 14-years-of-age or by force or fear and ‘assault with intent to commit a specified sex offence‘.

Steve Austin Conway aka Earl Lynn Bagley.

Steve Austin Conway – a false name used by Earl Lynn Bagley of Seattle.

Undercover investigation:

Last Sunday, Hong Wrong arranged for an actress to pose as a domestic helper interested in Bagley’s Las Vegas work visa scheme. Their exchange was secretly recorded:

  • In a hotel room at Chungking Mansions, Bagley told the actress her normal visa processing could take 4 years and that he would need 1,000 maids to sign up for it to be ‘cost-efficient’. Monthly membership fees must be maintained during the long US work visa process. His Foreign Domestic Workers Association of site says members must also sign a contract and have their names and pictures displayed on his websites – at least 31 women have signed up. The scheme promises well-paid work, a tour of celebrity homes in California, a personal loan, a team of private immigration paralegals and a glamorous lifestyle in Nevada including 5-star accommodation and limousine travel.

    Steve Austin Conway

    Print-outs Bagley asked the actress to distribute

  • Bagley told the actress she could receive membership discounts and a 3-month fast-tracked work visa as a ‘corporate executive’ if she recruited others to join. Discounts and a revenue share could be arranged if she also sold HK$5 raffle tickets. Prizes include roundtrip plane tickets, HK$100,000 in cash, cell phones and computers. However, The Home Affairs Department confirmed with the blog that he lacks a Trade Promotion Competition Licence and thus his case was referred to the police.
  • On the same day as the investigation, Bagley had promised ‘free KFC‘ meals for up to 2,000 new members at the Macau Ferry Terminal that afternoon.
  • Several domestic workers were also in the room, one of whom claimed Bagley was an ‘immigration officer’.
  • Upon leaving the hotel room, the actress was asked to distribute a pack of print-outs advertising a members-only 2014 Christmas party held at Lantau’s Disneyland Hotel. Tickets cost HK$1,500 (which may be paid in instalments). The fee includes a “gift from Santa Claus”. Until recently, his site claimed that the event had capacity for 200,000 domestic workers over 8 days.

Steve Austin Conway aka Earl Lynn Bagley

Bagley’s response:

On the same morning, Bagley was offered a right-to-reply. Though often evasive, he answered each question posed, making the following claims:

  • Criminal record: His sex offender convictions were misunderstandings. His Filipino girlfriend ‘Bambi’ was born in 1992 and was over 15. Regarding his child porn offence, he “didn’t know those types of sites existed”, and such images were left on his computer by a friend. They were uncovered at a Canadian Immigration point along with “pictures of Osama Bin Laden dead”, which he intended to pass onto the media.
  • Extradition: Though he was extradited from the Philippines last year for failing to sign onto the sex offenders’ register, he claims it was a “stupid case” as he is not obliged to do so if “away from the US”. (This is false. US law states that Bagley has been legally obliged to sign-on since last November).
  • Identity: Since he was unable to pronounce his real name as a child, he changed it to a ‘business name’, which he used for a limousine business. His alias was inspired by a friend named Steven.
  • Mother Theresa: During his work fundraising for orphanages, he met Mother Theresa in Los Angeles who persuaded him in Los Angeles to “get out of my limousine business and come to India and help the nurses” as an immigration advisor.
  • Business viability: Bagley says he survives in Hong Kong thanks to a rich friend in Beverly Hills worth US$60 million. He does not have a plan to ‘break even’ with his maid business, as he trusts his members. He has “never really calculated” how many maids he would need to recruit to make money. During the interview, he said his business was legal, that he has a manpower licence, even though one isn’t required and no-one is obliged to recruit other members.

As of this today, his main site now states that membership is ‘free’.

Bagley runs several other websites in Hong Kong. Until recently, Hong Kong Domestic Helpers Holiday and Travair promised weekly members-only parties in “5 star hotels in Hong Kong, Kowloon & Discovery Bay” for HK$400 per week. His other two sites, international Immigration and Hong Kong Domestic Helpers Human offer advice to vulnerable helpers or those wishing to emigrate.

Steve Austin Conway - pseudonym of Earl Lynn Bagley

Business registration documents and the registered address in Mongkok

Please contact us if you have had any interactions with Bagley or his companies. A follow-up to today’s post will be published tomorrow.

Hong Wrong News

More news on the Hong Wrong MegaIndex

8 thoughts on “INVESTIGATION – Blog Uncovers Sex Offender Promising Maids Lavish New Life in Vegas

  • Xell

    If this article is really only exposing him as a convincted criminal, then really you have you work cut out for you… There are plenty more convicted criminals you can write about… I don’t get what you’re accusing him of? He committed a crime and went to jail for it. He might not have signed onto the register in HK but is that a local crime? And raffles and draws is not a serious offence.

    If he is committing a Hongkong crime then report it and if you can prove it then post it. I re-read the article and the main point seems to be his criminal past and the fact his business seems fishy

  • Tom

    Readers can decide if his business is legitimate and a viable option for domestic workers. The Home Affairs department have already referred his lottery license case to the police.
    Part 2 will detail concerns from NGOs and members of the public.
    Additionally, it appears he’s in violation of US law for failing to sign onto the sex offender’s register.
    The blog sought legal reassurance to confirm the newsworthiness of this piece. Not all information that was obtained was published.

  • Xell

    I still think you should separate his criminal past from the dodgy feeling you have about his business. It doesn’t look like the ladies he’s recruiting resemble 14 year old’s, so it’s a very tenuous link (only nationality?).
    The article reads like it’s an attempt to sully him and his business any way possible and a mish-mash of accusations, bringing up past offences, and tit-for-tat rule-breaking (lottery license..).
    As for the Author, care you’re not in breach of Article 30..

  • Tom

    As said, we’ve legal reassurance this is strongly in the public interest and he was extradited from Manila under the very same circumstances that have now arisen in HK – failure to sign onto the offenders’ register. The context of his character is inseparable from these concerns – only the facts have been reported.

  • smog

    I’m with Xell on this. I’m not all all clear what your point is – if it’s that he’s running some sort of scam that you feel is taking advantage of your beloved Filipinas, then fine, but I don’t see how his past criminal record is particularly relevant. And there are hundreds of other people scamming DHs here, many of them being their own compatriots.

    If your point is that there is someone in breach of US law in Hong Kong, then OK, but I’m sure he is far from alone in that – I’m sure there must be very many who are in breach of US Tax laws for a start. And I don’t see how his breach of US law is relevant to the activities you have described here.

    If you really want to sort out a major issue, why don’t you do an expose on the 16 year-old girls trafficked over on their older sister’s passports and forced into prostitution in the brothels on Lockhart Road? I believe their virginity gets sold for about HK$10,000. This has been going on for years with the complete connivance of the HK Immigration Department (who absurdly issues them visas as “entertainers”). You could start with the Uber-Mamasan of several of the bars, Cynthia Cole – she runs (or at least did a few years ago, I’m a little out of touch) a big trafficking network around Pampanga.

    Could it be though that going after a 61-year-old guy in a wheelchair is less likely to result in men coming after you with choppers smeared with shit than exposing the trafficking?

  • smog

    Great – so you know some lazy so-called journalist in the SCMP who finds it easier just to repeat what they are told rather than actually add any value. Good for you! My basic points still apply.

    Are you suggesting that no-one with a criminal record should be allowed to set up a business, or what? I would have thought your oh so politically correct philosophy would be all in favour of the rehabilitation of

    If he were running schemes involving children then you would have a point, but I see absolutely no relevance of his criminal record to this case.

Comments are closed.