Sacramento Area Woman Charged with Forcing Victims to Provide Labor and Related Offenses
The Justice Department today announced that Firdos Sheikh, 58, of Elk Grove, California, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on two counts of forced labor, two counts of alien harboring for financial gain, one count of obstructing a forced labor investigation, and one count of making false statements to federal agents. The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
According to the indictment, between October 2008 and June 2013, the defendant harbored and concealed two victims on her property and other locations and forced them to provide labor and services for her financial benefit. In July 2013, the defendant lied to federal agents and attempted to hide one of the victims from the agents in order to obstruct their investigation.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and mandatory restitution to the victims.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys William E. Nolan and David Reese of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, with assistance from Trial Attorney Amanda Wick of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section.