Former nail salon owners charged in forced labor case sentenced to prison

The siblings of two Rancho Bernardo nail salons are said to have helped their second cousin, whose father in Vietnam allegedly bet the family fortune so he could create a new life in the United States.

Cindy Mydung Luu, 55, and brother Jason Luu, 47, took their college cousin, supported her education, and helped her learn the nail trade. But “what started with good intentions turned into something unpleasant and worse,” the brothers’ defense attorneys wrote in a court document.

The cousin, who was recognized by prosecutors only with the initials “LX”, was soon forced to work up to 12 hours a day, seven days a week in the salons, threatened to lose her immigration status and was forced to lose all her income , according to the objection agreement reached by the brothers at the end of last year.

On Tuesday, the brothers were sentenced in San Diego federal court to three months in prison – half of the six months in prison requested by prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller also accepted the $ 250,000 negotiated repayment owed in arrears to their cousin.

The victim’s condition was brought to the attention of the Trafficking in Persons Group “following a proposal and support from two caregivers and watchdog clients who had become friends with the victim,” said then-US Attorney Robert Brewer when the indictment was announced in 2019.

The victim arrived in San Diego in 2014 on a student visa and attended classes at Grossmont Community College while also obtaining a nail technician license and working at Save Auto, another local family-owned business.

In 2015, she also arranged to marry her cousin Jason Lou – a US citizen – to allow her to stay in the country. The wedding was only on paper.

“Apart from that, he was expected to work in a family business,” wrote the brothers’s lawyers, Jeremy Warren and Isaac Blumberg, in a sentencing statement. “Partly because everyone in the family worked hard, partly to help her learn a skill and a profession, and partly to make up for the expenses that continued to accrue to her acceptance.”

In 2016, he stopped taking classes to work full time – first at the Majestic Nail Salon and then at the Eden Nails Lounge & Spa – under restrictive conditions.

In March 2019, her green card finally arrived in the mail, but Jason Luu told her he had not even arrived and kept it, “taking notice of LX’s work and services threatening her with the loss of her immigrant status. “and threatening to falsely tell LX relatives in Vietnam that LX was a ‘bad girl,'” the objection agreement states. She was also barred from associating with anyone, the claim states.

Task Force officers issued a search warrant at Luu’s Tierrasanta’s home in June 2019, confiscating about $ 300,000 from Cindy Luu’s bedroom – which defense attorneys described as the family’s collective savings destined for a sanctuary in B their elderly parents. The brothers were arrested a few months later.

The brothers have since sold their nail salons. Cindy works as a nail technician and Jason finds it difficult to keep his job as a car mechanic, according to their lawyers. Both are basic caregivers for seniors living with their parents.

Their cousin, with whom they had no contact, recently graduated from the University of California, Davis.

The Luus were ordered to surrender to the prisons they had set up in May.

Former nail salon owners charged in forced labor case sentenced to prison Source link Former nail salon owners charged in forced labor case sentenced to prison

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