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Seb Agresti for Quartz

Welcome to the world’s biggest tax haven: The United States of America

Member exclusive by Max de Haldevang for Hidden money

Late one fall night in 2008, Christine Nelson was dropped outside a Houston strip mall by the man who had been trafficking her for a year and a half.

A man met Christine and another victim of the same trafficker and told them to get into the back of a truck. About 45 minutes later, Christine got out onto a dirt road, outside what looked in the dark like another strip mall. She was led into a building, which had signs outside advertising a massage parlor.

Upstairs, the madam who ran the parlor assigned her a windowless room at the end of a dingy corridor. “There was a massage bed in there, there was low light in there. You couldn’t really see the conditions of it,” she says. “It was dirty, it was not a clean place. You could actually smell the food from the hot plate that was down the other end of the hall.”

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