Home Richmond couple charged with human trafficking, forced labor of gas station employee

Richmond couple charged with human trafficking, forced labor of gas station employee

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A federal grand jury in Richmond returned a seven-count indictment today charging a Virginia couple with human trafficking at a North Chesterfield gas station and convenience store.

According to court documents, Harmanpreet Singh, 30, and Kulbir Kaur, 42, forced Singh’s cousin, to provide labor at the store – and according to the indictment, used various coercive means, including confiscating the victim’s immigration documents and subjecting the victim to physical abuse and degrading living conditions. Court records allege the victim was forced to work long hours with minimal pay. The indictment further alleges that the defendants harbored the victim after his Visa expired for financial gain and committed bankruptcy-related fraud offenses.

The indictment includes forced labor, conspiracy to commit forced labor, alien harboring for financial gain and document servitude along with fraud charges including conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud and fraudulent transfers in contemplation of bankruptcy.

The charge of forced labor carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, up to five years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and mandatory restitution.

The FBI Richmond Field Office investigated the case.

Anyone who has information about human trafficking should report that information to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888 or www.humantraffickinghotline.org.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.