OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
OCTOBER 7, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HUMAN TRAFFICKING RESCUE PROJECT
MOLDOVAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY
TO FORCED LABOR TRAFFICKING
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Moldovan national pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a forced labor trafficking scheme that victimized workers in 14 states, including employees at hotels in the Kansas City area and in Branson, Mo.
Alexandru Frumusache, 24, a citizen of the Republic of Moldova residing in Kansas City, Kan., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith this afternoon to the forced labor trafficking charge contained in a May 6, 2009, federal indictment.
In approximately September 2008, Frumusache began working for Giant Labor Solutions (GLS), 607 Westport Road in Kansas City, Mo., performing clerical and secretarial duties such as making sales calls to potential work sites for the foreign workers. He also assisted in transporting foreign workers for GLS from the bus station in Kansas City to various GLS apartments, from the airport in Kansas City to a bus station where they were transported to work sites in other states, and from Kansas City to GLS apartments in the state of Alabama.
Between September 2008 and the end of April 2009, Frumusache knowingly aided and abetted others in a scheme to cause foreign workers (including citizens from the Phillippines, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica) to believe that they would be deported, or their H2B work visas would be cancelled, or they or their families members would be penalized with a $5,000 to $10,000 fee, if the foreign workers failed or refused to work where and when GLS ordered them to work.
Frumusache also admitted that he aided and abetted others in subjecting the foreign workers to terrible living conditions without food, furniture, or appropriate sleeping arrangements. They assigned more foreign workers than each living space allowed and the foreign workers were subjected to sleeping on the floor or mattresses. GLS utilized the housing arrangement as an additional way to profit off of the foreign workers by overcharging them in rent and automatically withdrawing the fees from the foreign workers’ pay checks.
Frumusache entered the United States in November 2007 on an H2B visa and began living and working in the southeastern United States. In April 2008 he contacted the GLS for help in obtaining an extension of his H2B visa. In April 2008 Frumusache obtained an extension of his H2B visa through GLS. Frumusache knowingly violated the terms of the H2B visa extension he obtained through GLS by working for an employer other than GLS.
Under federal statutes, Frumusache is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gene Porter, William L. Meiners and Cynthia L. Cordes and Trial Attorney Jim Felte with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Labor, OIG – Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Kansas Department of Revenue – Criminal Investigations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Independence, Mo., Police Department in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at