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Press Release

Florida Man Ordered to Pay Over $1.1 Million in Restitution to Victims of Sex Trafficking and Interstate Prostitution Scheme

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Defendant Previously Sentenced to Over 40 Years’ Imprisonment Ordered to Pay Restitution to Six Victims of Interstate Sex Trafficking and Prostitution Enterprise

U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza of the Middle District of Florida today ordered defendant Abdullah Hamidullah, 43, to pay $1,179,000.00 in restitution to six victims of his sex trafficking and interstate prostitution enterprise, the Justice Department announced. Last month, the court sentenced the defendant to serve 482 months’ imprisonment and a lifetime of supervised release.  On June 17, 2016, the defendant pleaded guilty to sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion and related interstate prostitution violations, and agreed as a term of his plea agreement to pay restitution to six victims identified in the indictment.

At the Feb. 24, 2017 sentencing hearing, the court made detailed findings, noting that the defendant engaged in “fraud and deception to lure young women” whom he then “enslaved … using violence and intimidation and permanently branding them as [his] property.” The court cited violent physical and sexual assaults which the defendant perpetrated “out of greed,” demonstrating the capacity to “view these women as nothing more than property.” In imposing the sentence, the court emphasized that, “these women will carry the scars of their enslavement with memories of your brutality, the manner in which you branded them as your property, and with the fact that you forced them to engage in countless sexual encounters with total strangers for you own profit.”

This defendant preyed on vulnerable young victims and cruelly exploited them for his profit,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Trafficking Victims Protection Act requires traffickers to pay restitution to their victims, with good reason. Restitution compels traffickers to relinquish the proceeds of their crimes, and helps restore victims to lives of independence and freedom. We will continue to pursue restitution as an integral part of our efforts to seek justice on behalf of victims of human trafficking.”

“Victims of sex trafficking can never be truly compensated for the horrors that they have endured,” said Acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida.  “However, our Office is firmly committed to seeking restitution in these cases to help victims transition to normal lives.”

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Orlando-based Metropolitan Bureau of Investigations, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ilianys Rivera Miranda of the Middle District of Florida, and Trial Attorney William Nolan of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.

Updated April 25, 2017

Civil Rights
Human Trafficking
Press Release Number: 17-322