human trafficking rescue proejct
High-ranking taiwan Representative Charged
with fraud in foreign labor contracting
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a high-ranking representative of Taiwan was charged in federal court today with fraud in foreign labor contracting for fraudulently obtaining a Filipino servant for her residence.
Hsien-Hsien “Jacqueline” Liu, 64, of Taiwan, residing in Leawood, Kan., was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. Liu is the director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office located in Kansas City, Mo. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office is part of the Taiwan organization responsible for maintaining close unofficial relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan. They are generally the equivalent of a consulate of a foreign government, but the United States does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state.
Today’s criminal complaint alleges that Liu fraudulently obtained an employment contract with a Filipino housekeeper, whom Liu then brought to the United States to work for her on a B-1 visa. Liu allegedly paid her significantly less than the contractual amount and forced her to work excessive hours and perform tasks outside the terms of the contract.
According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s criminal complaint, Liu hired a woman (identified as “Female Victim” or “FV”) who was living in the Philippines in November 2010. Liu signed an employment contract, which was used to obtain a B-1 visa for the victim. The victim arrived in the United States on March 5, 2011, the affidavit says, and began working for Liu the next day.
Once in the United States, the affidavit says, Liu paid the Filipino worker $400-450 per month, although the employment contract stipulated a salary of $1,240 per month. Liu allegedly required the victim to work six days a week, 16 to 18 hours a day, and forbid her to leave the house without permission. Under the terms of her employment contract, the affidavit says, she was to work no more than eight hours a day, 40 hours per week, and her presence was not required inside the residence except during working hours.
Liu took the victim’s passport and visa and would not return them, according to the affidavit. Liu allegedly told the victim that she was friends with local law enforcement and well known in the community, and threatened her with deportation. Liu monitored the victim from a video surveillance cameras she had installed inside her residence, the affidavit says.
According to the affidavit, Liu was verbally abusive to the victim and had her conduct additional manual labor and personal services for Liu.
During a trip to the grocery store, the affidavit says, the victim located a Filipino inside the store and sought his help. The victim told him that she was trapped, and being underpaid and mistreated. He communicated with her at church, the affidavit says, but eventually Liu required that she work on Sundays so she was not able to attend. On Aug. 10, 2011, he helped the victim escape from Liu’s residence.
Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this complaint are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Cordes. It was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project.
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