Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of NY
“[W]e take seriously our responsibility to maintain security at our borders and prosecute those who seek unlawful commercial advantage and financial profit through the exploitation of other human beings,” said Acting Brooklyn U.S. Attorney DuCharme.
By Forum Staff
A six-count indictment was unsealed on Thursday in Central Islip federal court charging two men with smuggling Vietnamese aliens into the country to work for illegally low wages at hair and nail salons in Queens, Bronx, and on Long Island, federal prosecutors announced.
Dat Tat Ho, 33, of the Bronx, and Manh Ngoc Nguyen, 44, of Hicksville, L.I., have been charged with conspiring to defraud U.S. government agencies and alien smuggling for financial gain, and related crimes. Both defendants have been ordered detained pending trial.
According to court filings, the defendants owned or managed numerous nail and hair salons in Queens, the Bronx and on Long Island. Between January 2017 and September 2020, the defendants and others arranged for Vietnamese foreign nationals to enter the country via illegal border crossings at the U.S. border with Mexico, as well as at other ports of entry. After the foreign nationals crossed the border, the defendants facilitated their travel to New York to work in their salons at illegally low wages and overstay their transit visas. The defendants also caused foreign nationals to make false statements to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and submit fraudulent asylum applications to USCIS. The foreign nationals were housed in residences that the defendants owned or controlled.
If convicted, Nguyen and Ho face a minimum of five years’ imprisonment and up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
“As this case demonstrates, we take seriously our responsibility to maintain security at our borders and prosecute those who seek unlawful commercial advantage and financial profit through the exploitation of other human beings,” said Acting Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme.