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Press Release

North Chesterfield Man and Woman Charged with Committing Forced Labor and Alien Harboring at Gas Station and Convenience Store for Multiple Years

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. –A federal grand jury returned a seven-count indictment today charging a Virginia couple with conspiracy to commit forced labor, forced labor, alien harboring for financial gain, and document servitude, along with fraud-related charges – conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud and fraudulent transfers in contemplation of bankruptcy – in connection with their operation of a gas station and convenience store in North Chesterfield.

According to the court filings, between March 2018 and May 2021, Harmanpreet Singh, 30, and Kulbir Kaur, 42, forced the victim, Singh’s cousin, to provide labor and services at Singh’s store, including working as the cashier, preparing food, cleaning and managing store records. The indictment alleges that the defendants used various coercive means, including confiscating the victim’s immigration documents and subjecting the victim to physical abuse, threats of force and other serious harm and, at times, degrading living conditions, to compel him to work extensive hours for minimal pay. The indictment further alleges that the defendants harbored the victim after his visa expired for financial gain and committed bankruptcy-related fraud offenses.

The charge of forced labor carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, up to five years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and mandatory restitution. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; and Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office made the announcement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Avi Panth and Trial Attorney Matthew Thiman of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit are prosecuting the case.

Anyone who has information about human trafficking should report that information to the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about human trafficking, please visit Information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found at

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. 3:23-cr-92.

An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Updated July 19, 2023

Civil Rights
Financial Fraud