This week, a Filipino-American couple were sentenced for a combined 129 months in prison for forcing 39 Pinoys to work against their will in country clubs and in Southeast Florida.
Federal prosecutors said Sophia Manuel and Alfonso Baldonado Jr., owners of Quality Staffing Services Corp., a labor contracting service, compelled the victims to work under threat of having them arrested and deported, knowing they faced serious economic harm and possible incarceration for nonpayment of debts in the Philippines.
Manuel was sentenced last Friday to 78 months in federal prison and Baldonado to 51 months in prison.
Manuel also was sentenced for making false statements on an application she filed with the US Department of Labor to obtain foreign labor certifications and visas under the federal H2B guest worker program.
Prosecutors said Manuel and Baldonado seized the passports of the workers upon arrival, forced them to stay in quarters provided and did not allow them to leave without an escort.
For more on this story, click here. (Salamat, Ray)