From sometime in 2000 through August 2008, Lynda Dieu Phan and Duc Cao Nguyen, both of New Cumberland, Pa, and Justin Phan, of Tennessee, conspired for Lynda Dieu Phan to travel to Vietnam to recruit victims to work in her York, Pa.-area nail salons, according to a federal indictment released last week by Martin C. Carlson, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and John P. Kelleghan, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security–Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations in Philadelphia.

The indictment alleges that fraudulent marriages were arranged so the victims could gain entry into the United States. Upon entry, the victims were forced to work at Lynda Dieu Phan’s nail salons. “This investigation reveals the disturbing truth that some individuals undertake to exploit helpless victims through modern-day slavery,” said John P. Kelleghan, Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Philadelphia. “The charges allege that these victims were removed from their country and forced into bondage in the United States so that the defendants could profit.”

The indictment requests the forfeiture of a residential property in New Cumberland; a 2008 Toyota Highlander; contents of two bank accounts; and over $130,000 in cash seized from the residential property in New Cumberland.

If convicted, the defendants could be sentenced to up to 20 years’ imprisonment. This case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christy H. Fawcett.

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