Man guilty of trafficking in forced labor

Share this article:

Kizzy Kalu, a Colorado businessman on trial for luring nursing home workers to the United States under false pretenses, was found guilty July 2 of trafficking in forced labor. 

A jury convicted him on all but six of 95 criminal counts after two and a half days of deliberation. The charges included trafficking in forced labor, visa fraud and mail fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 23 in U.S. District Court in Denver, according to The Denver Post.

Enticed by Kalu's promise of $72,000 per year jobs at a  university that existed in name only, the 25 nurses, most of whom were from the Philippines, moved to the United States, but only after each paid Kalu $6,500 for a visa. 

After the nurses had arrived stateside, Kalu retracted the promise of high-paying jobs at a university and, instead, placed them in nursing home positions.

The facilities paid Kalu's company, Foreign Health Care Professionals Group, the nurses' wages, most of which Kalu retained. In one instance, a facility paid $35 per hour for a nurse, and Kalu paid the nurse just $20 an hour, pocketing the rest, the Post reported.

When authorities eventually became interested in Kalu's company, the businessman and his partner altered their scheme. They had the nursing homes start paying the nurses directly. 

But Kalu still demanded a cut of $1,200 per month from each nurse, threatening to send a letter to the Department of Homeland Security to have visas retracted if the nurses did not comply. 

In fact, when one nurse stopped making payments, Kalu reported her to immigration officials and her visa was taken away. Others who refused to pay Kalu also subsequently had their visas taken away. 


Share this article:

More in News

Also in the news for August 22, 2014

Iowa's nursing homes lost, on average, 41% of their employees each year from 2010-2012 ... Researchers identify proteins necessary in wound healing ... More than 40% percent of SSDI recipients take opioid pain relievers, study says.

CMS: Many skilled nursing providers have poor Medicare certification and recertification practices

CMS: Many skilled nursing providers have poor Medicare ...

The rate of improper Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities has increased largely due to issues with certification and recertification statements, according to a recently released government memorandum. The Centers ...

NY nursing home agrees to $2.2 million settlement in case of false documentation

NY nursing home agrees to $2.2 million settlement ...

Nursing home operator Ralex Services Inc. has agreed to a $2.2 million settlement in a whistleblower case involving forged documents at a facility in New Rochelle, New York.