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The operators of a labor leasing company and others were indicted on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act charges relating to labor racketeering, forced labor trafficking and immigration and other violations in 14 states, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri announced Wednesday.
Abrorkhodja Askarkhodjaev, 30, of Mission KS, operated Giant Labor Solutions LLC in Kansas City MO and other businesses, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The firms signed labor leasing contracts with clients in the hotel/resort, casino and construction industries in 14 states. However, Askarkhodjaev didn't pay required employment taxes or overtime and employed workers not legally authorized to work in the U.S., according to the office.
Giant Labor's workforce was mainly foreign nationals, according to the office. The company used false information for H-2B work visas and charged workers fees ranging from $400 to $3,000, and allegedly threatened workers with a $5,000 fee if they returned to their home country, according to the office. Workers were also forced to pay the company for transportation and for company apartments. And allegations in the indictment say workers, or other people, were threatened with harm if the worker did not work.
"This RICO indictment alleges an extensive and profitable criminal enterprise in which hundreds of illegal aliens were employed at hotels and other businesses across the country," said Matt Whitworth, acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. "The defendants allegedly used false information to acquire fraudulent work visas for these foreign nationals. Many of their employees were allegedly victims of human trafficking who were coerced to work in violation of the terms of their visa without proper pay and under the threat of deportation. The defendants also required them to reside together in crowded, substandard and overpriced apartments."
In addition to Askarkhodjaev, others charged in the indictment included: Nodir Yunusov, 22, Rustamjon Shukurov, 21, citizens of Uzbekistan residing in Mission KS; Ilkham Fazilov, 44, Nodirbek Abdoollayev, 27, both citizens of Uzbekistan residing in Kansas City MO; Viorel Simon, 27, Alexandru Frumasache, 23, both citizens of Moldova residing in Kansas City KS; Kristin Dougherty, 49, of Ellisville MO; Andrew Cole, 53, of St. Charles, MO; Abdukakhar Azizkhodjaev, 49, a citizen of Uzbekistan residing in Panama City FL; and Sandjar Agzamov, 27, and Jakhongir Kakhkharov, 29, both citizens of Uzbekistan who recently left the United States and are living abroad.
Three companies were also named in the indictment: Giant Labor Solutions; Crystal Management Inc., headquartered in Mission KS; and Five Star Cleaning LLC, headquartered in Overland Park KS.