News and Press Releases

human trafficking rescue project

High-ranking taiwan representative will be deported,
paid $80,000 to victims, must pay cost of
incarceration, deportation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a high-ranking representative of Taiwan was sentenced in federal court today for fraud in foreign labor contracting after fraudulently obtaining two Filipino servants for her residence.

Hsien-Hsien "Jacqueline" Liu, 64, of Taiwan, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays. The court accepted the binding plea agreement and sentenced Liu to time served. Liu has been in federal custody without bond since her arrest on Nov. 10, 2011. The court ordered Liu to pay $80,044 in restitution and to pay a fine, still to be determined, to cover the full costs of her incarceration and deportation (including the expense of the federal agents in whose custody she will travel).

The court also ordered Liu to be removed from the United States. She will remain in federal custody and be deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Under the terms of her plea agreement, Liu was required to waive her right to a hearing before an immigration judge and to pay a total of $80,044 in restitution for the two victims. The victims received those payments prior to today’s sentencing hearing.

Liu, who pleaded guilty on Nov. 18, 2011, was 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.

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. Liu’s restitution payment represents full restitution for the hours they actually 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 them to legally live and work in the United States.

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.

Liu also admitted that she engaged in the same conduct with another employee, also a woman from the Philippines, whom Liu employed in 2009-2010.

This case was 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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