YORK, Pa. (AP) — Three people have pleaded guilty to federal charges in what prosecutors allege was “modern-day slavery” of two Vietnamese women forced to work for years in central Pennsylvania nail salons.
Thirty-nine-year-old Lynda Dieu Phan of Fairview Township pleaded guilty on Oct. 6 to conspiracy to commit forced labor trafficking, forced labor, and marriage fraud. Her brother, 36-year-old Justin Phan, and her boyfriend, 41-year-old Duc Cao Nguyen, both pleaded guilty to marriage fraud.
The three face maximum sentences of five years in prison. According to court documents, they have also agreed to pay a total of $300,000 in back pay to the two women.
Prosecutors said Lynda Dieu Phan recruited people in Vietnam to work in her nail salons in the York area, using fraudulent marriages to bring them into the United States, and then forced them to work without pay. Last year, authorities say, one of the women managed to escape from a New Cumberland house where she had been held for nearly four years. ♦