Two illegal brothel operators who bribed a Melbourne council official to tip them off about potential police raids have avoided jail.

Xue Di Yan, 51, and her business partner Anton Lu, 52, paid the corrupt official $16,500 to turn a blind eye to the sexual favours being performed at their Fitzroy and Richmond massage parlours.

The official would also alert them to any planned police and immigration department raids from 2008 to 2010.

Di Yan paid a further $7000 to the official, who cannot be named, to allow her Burnley parlour to operate.

Victorian County Court Judge David Parsons said the former Yarra Council official, who was jailed in a separate hearing, instigated the illegal payment scheme.

"He preyed upon your vulnerabilities," he told Di Yan and Lu.

But he told the pair the bribery of public officials was a serious crime that threatened the integrity of social institutions.

"The corruption of public officials runs to the heart of our ability to live in a civilised community."

Di Yan, of Mulgrave, was sentenced to 21 months in jail, suspended for three years, and fined $67,500.

Lu, of Fitzroy, was sentenced to 15 months jail, also suspended for three years.

The court heard that Di Yan recorded the illegal payments, typically between $250 and $500 per month, in an exercise book.

Police found the books in Di Yan's car when they arrested the pair and used it in evidence against them.

Both Di Yan and Lu pleaded guilty to bribery and carrying on the business of a sex work provider without a licence.

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