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Mass. business mogul charged in massage parlor sweep retires from firm he co-founded

John Childs, a business mogul who last week was charged with soliciting prostitution in Florida, has retired from the Boston-based private equity firm he co-founded in the mid-1990s, the company said Monday.

Childs was not currently active in the management of the firm, but has stepped down as chairman and as director of the board at KeyImpact, a foodservice sales and marketing agency, the firm said in a statement.

John Childs.Vero Beach police

Childs, 77, has “had a successful investment career spanning the past five decades,” and established J.W. Childs Associates in 1995, according to the statement.

“John built an enduring and strong business and we appreciate his many contributions to JWC,” Adam Suttin, the firm’s managing partner, said in the statement.


The firm has invested $3.7 billion in equity over its 24 years of buying companies, according to its website. The firm focuses on consumer products and specialty retailers.

Childs has denied wrongdoing, telling Bloomberg last Friday that “the accusation of solicitation of prostitution is totally false. I have retained a lawyer.”

In all, some 200 individuals are expected to be charged in a sweeping investigation of massage parlors across Florida, authorities said Friday. Among those charged was Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, who is scheduled to be arraigned April 24 on two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution.

Material from Bloomberg and previous Globe coverage was used in this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.