Alexandria, Va., Couple Arrested on Immigration Charges for Harboring Domestic Servant in Their Home
The Department of Justice announced today that a federal criminal complaint has been filed in the Eastern District of Virginia charging defendants Abdelkader and Hnia Amal with immigration offenses in connection with allegations that they held a woman in their home as a domestic servant for three years. The defendants were each charged with one count of alien harboring for commercial advantage and private financial gain.
According to the complaint, the defendants, who are husband and wife, concealed, harbored and shielded from detection in their home in Alexandria, Va., a Moroccan national, identified in the complaint as Witness-1, from December 2007 until December 2010. The complaint also alleges that Hnia Amal had the Moroccan national work for her commercial cleaning company, cleaning various residential and commercial properties. As further alleged in the complaint, the defendants unlawfully brought the Moroccan national into the United States on a visa they procured based on false representations that the Moroccan national would be employed as a domestic servant for a different employer. According to the complaint, the defendants allegedly benefitted financially by paying the Moroccan national only $9,000 for over three years of full-time work in their home and for Hnia Amal’s commercial cleaning company.
If convicted, Abdelkader and Hnia Amal could face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A complaint is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the FBI – Washington Field Office and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Alexandria Bogle of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Matthew Grady of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.