News and Press Releases

Two Convicted In Connection With Harboring An Undocumented Bolivian National For Financial Gain

– Ordered to pay the victim $100,000 restitution for back wages

December 4, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – An Elizabethtown cardiologist and his ex-wife plead guilty, in United States District Court before Judge John G. Heyburn II, late yesterday, to charges involving the harboring of an undocumented Bolivian national as their servant, for financial gain, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Dr. Javier Arce, age 59, pled guilty to a Federal Information charging him with misprision of a felony (failure to report knowledge of a felony to the proper authorities). His former wife, Cristina Mier Arce, age 56, of Hardin County, pled guilty to harboring for financial gain. The indictment to which Cristina Arce plead guilty alleged that the defendants recruited an undocumented Bolivian woman to work as their domestic servant and harbored her unlawfully for a total of nearly 15 years. The federal indictment of June 23, 2011, alleges that beginning in 1994, the defendants recruited the woman to travel to the United States, and then harbored her in their home and derived financial benefit from her labor as a full-time domestic servant from 1994 to 2006.

Judge Heyburn sentenced both defendants to a period of two years’ probation, and as part of their plea agreement, the defendants were required to pay the victim restitution for back wages totaling $100,000.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and prosecuted jointly by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Judd and Trial Attorney Daniel Weiss of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.

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