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Press Release

Harrisburg Woman Sentenced For Harboring Illegal Aliens

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

     The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Nura Ziadeh, age 62, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced yesterday in Harrisburg by United States Senior District Court Judge William W. Caldwell to 15 months’ imprisonment. Judge Caldwell further ordered that Ziadeh pay $21,300 in restitution.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, in 2006, the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, began reviewing A-3 Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) applications submitted at diplomatic facilities in Jakarta and Surabaya, Indonesia, for suspected fraudulent activity.

     A-3 NIVs are for personal or domestic employees of foreign government officials who are serving their country in the United States in an official capacity. Recipients of A-3 NIVs are not permitted to work for private employers for any reason.

     The investigation revealed that during 2007 through 2010, Ziadeh, formerly of Jakarta, Indonesia, worked in association with some of her family members still residing in Jakarta, to recruit poor, uneducated Indonesian women to come to Jakarta for eventual transportation to the U.S. and other countries under false pretenses to serve as domestic employees.

     Once inside the United States, Ziadeh would charge those seeking domestic employees thousands of dollars to employ one of the women for two years. The women would be required to work an average of 12 to 17 hours per day, seven days per week. In turn, the employers would pay the women substandard wages, approximately $250-$400 per month.  Some of the women were not paid at all.  However, if the women left before the two years, Ziadeh threatened that they would be required to pay a fine. Ziadeh also held the women’s passports and luggage to ensure they would not try to “escape.”

     The investigation identified at least 49 female victims.

     Ziadeh was indicted in February 2012, along with her husband, Rashid Ziadeh and daughter, Mannatullah Ziadeh. They were charged with Transporting and Harboring Illegal Aliens and Aiding and Abetting. Nura and Rashid Ziadeh pleaded guilty in March 2013. Rashid Ziadeh was sentenced to probation.

     This case was investigated by the United States Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service and Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and Lower Paxton Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daryl F. Bloom.

Updated April 9, 2015