Friday, April 16, 2010

California Woman Sentenced to 5 Years for Human Trafficking

"Bay Area woman sentenced to 5 years in domestic worker forced labor case"

"Defendant also ordered to pay over $123,000 restitution"
 
"A Bay Area woman convicted of forcing a Peruvian woman to work as her nanny and domestic servant has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay the victim more than $123,000 in restitution.

Mabelle de la Rosa Dann, 46, was sentenced Wednesday on multiple federal charges, including forced labor, unlawful use of documents in furtherance of forced labor, harboring an illegal alien for private financial gain, visa fraud and conspiracy to commit visa fraud. The charges were the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Dann was convicted by a jury in October 2008 in the first human trafficking trial in the Northern District of California. During the trial, evidence showed Dann conspired with at least one other person to fraudulently obtain a visa for the victim and smuggle her into the United States from Peru in July 2006. Over the course of approximately 21 months, Dann forced the woman to cook, clean, and provide childcare in a small, one-bedroom apartment in Walnut Creek, Calif. Dann initially kept the victim working by falsely promising future payment.

Eventually, Dann confiscated the victim's passport and identification, telling her she would be falsely accused of theft if she fled. At no point did Dann pay the victim for her work. Ultimately the victim, who had never traveled outside of Peru and could not speak English at the time, escaped with the help of local residents and officials and parents at a local elementary school...

Dann remains free on bond. The Court ordered her to self-surrender June 30. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken also ordered the defendant to pay $123,740.34 in restitution to the victim, consisting of $109,340.34 in back pay and $14,400 in future counseling costs.

Anyone who suspects instances of human trafficking are encouraged to call the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888. Anonymous calls are welcome."

Read the complete story: http://www.ice.gov/pi/nr/1004/100415oakland.htm

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