Moldovan National Pleads Guilty to Forced Labor Trafficking

WASHINGTON—A Moldovan national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Kansas City, Mo., for his role in a forced labor trafficking scheme that victimized workers in 14 states, the Justice Department announced.

Alexandru Frumusache, 24, a citizen of the republic of Moldova residing in Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith this afternoon to the charge contained in a May 6, 2009, federal indictment.

In or around September 2008, Frumusache began working for Giant Labor Solutions in Kansas City. According to the court documents, between September 2008 and the end of April 2009, he knowingly aided and abetted others in a scheme to cause foreign workers (including nationals of the Phillippines, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica) to believe that if they failed or refused to work where and when ordered, they would be deported, their H2B work visas would be cancelled, or they or their family members would be penalized with a $5,000 to $10,000 fee.

Frumusache is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 25, 2010.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gene Porter, William L. Meiners and Cynthia L. Cordes and Trial Attorney Jim Felte with the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the FBI; the Labor Department; OIG – Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; IRS – Criminal Investigation; the Kansas Department of Revenue – Criminal Investigations; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service; and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.