Williamsburg Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering and Conspiracy Involving Labor Trafficking
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A 33-count indictment was unsealed today charging four people with joining together to defraud and commit offenses against the United States, including human trafficking of individuals from Central America, benefiting from forced labor, money laundering, and various other immigration-related offenses, such as harboring undocumented non-citizens.
According to allegations in the indictment, Ana Patricia Landaverde, 47, of Williamsburg, Jeffrey Dean Vaughan, 64, of Williamsburg, and George William Evans, 68, of Midlothian, engaged in a conspiracy to harbor, transport, and benefit from the employment of undocumented noncitizens at their commercial laundry business, Northstar Holdings of Virginia LLC, d/b/a Magnolia Cleaning Services, LLC. Between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2022, the business’s wage records reflect approximately 121 employees with alleged invalid or mismatched Social Security Numbers and wage payments of more than $1.2 million to these employees.
The fourth unnamed defendant is alleged to have acted as an illegal supplier of fraudulent identification documents. Prospective employees without proper documentation to work in the United States were allegedly referred to this defendant to purchase a counterfeit permanent resident card and social security card.
As further set forth in the indictment, Landaverde, Vaughan, and Evans also allegedly engaged in human trafficking of labor from Central America and benefitting from forced labor. One victim is alleged to have been brought to the United States when she was only 13 years old and forced to work nights while also attending school during the day. Allegations also include another victim being made to work under threats of deportation, physical violence, and other misuse of law and process. This same victim was made to pay rent to live in the commercial laundry facility where she lacked access to a kitchen, shower, or bath.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Derek W. Gordon, Acting Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Homeland Security; Troy Springer, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Washington, DC Regional Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; Michael McGill, Special Agent-in-Charge, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General; and Damon E. Wood, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian J. Samuels and D. Mack Coleman are prosecuting the case.
This investigation was conducted by the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force, a collaboration between federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutors, as well as non-governmental organizations, working together to combat human trafficking in the Hampton Roads Region.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:22-cr-92.
An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.