Human Trafficking Rescue Project
High-Ranking Taiwan Representative Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge, Pays $80,000 Restitution to Victims andWill Be Deported
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a high-ranking representative of Taiwan pleaded guilty in federal court today to fraud in foreign labor contracting for fraudulently obtaining two Filipino servants for her residence.
Hsien-Hsien “Jacqueline” Liu, 64, of Taiwan, residing in Overland Park, Kan., waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to the charge contained in a federal information.
Liu is the Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office located in Kansas City, Mo. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) is one of 13 offices responsible for maintaining close unofficial relations between the people of the United States and the people of 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.
At the conclusion of today’s court hearing, Liu paid a total of $80,044 in restitution for the two victims, which represents full restitution for the hours they worked, based upon a work schedule of 16-18 hours per day, six-and-a-half days per week. The victims have been certified as victims of a severe form of human trafficking under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. As a result, they will receive government support for a T visa, which would, allow among other benefits, them to legally remain and work in the United States.
Under the terms of today’s binding plea agreement, the government and Liu jointly recommend a sentence of time served, which will trigger Liu’s immediate deportation from the United States upon being sentenced. Liu remains in federal custody until her sentencing hearing.
By pleading guilty today, Liu admitted that she fraudulently entered into employment contracts with two Filipino housekeepers, whom Liu then brought to the United States to work for her on B-1 visas. Liu paid them significantly less than the contractual amount and forced them to work excessive hours.
In November 2010, Liu recruited and solicited a female citizen of Manila, Phillippines (identified in the plea agreement as Female Victim #1) to come to the United States to work as a housekeeper for her residence. Liu sent a signed contract via both Federal Express and fax from Kansas City, Mo., to Manila, which contained fraudulent terms of employment. The employment contract, which was used to obtain a B-1 visa for the victim, required that she be paid $1,240 per month to work 40 hours a week, eight hours a day. It only required her to be present in the residence during work hours.
Liu admitted that she did not intend to comply with these terms. From March 6, 2011 to August 2011, contrary to the terms of the contract, Liu only paid the victim $450 a month, increased her work hours to 16-18 hours per day, and required that she work on the weekends and holidays. Liu had surveillance cameras installed inside the residence to monitor the victim and did not allow her to leave the residence without supervision or permission.
The government’s investigation uncovered evidence that Liu had earlier engaged in the same conduct with another employee. Although the original federal criminal complaint charged Liu with conduct related to Female Victim #1, the affidavit filed in support of that complaint referred to a second victim. As part of today’s plea agreement, Liu is required to accept responsibility for the prior victim (identified in the plea agreement as Female Victim #2), also a woman from the Philippines, whom Liu employed in 2009-2010.
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.