Arrested On Charges Of Shipping Russian Women To America For Work
In Strip Clubs
August 27 2002
Three suspects, accused of organizing and shipping women from Russia
to the United States for forced labor in strip clubs were arrested
in New York on August 27.
Naturalized Americans Lev Trachtenberg and his wife Victoria Ilyina,
as well as Russian citizen Sergey Malchikov, found themselves
behind bars. All three were arrested on Tuesday in Brooklyn, a borough
of New York City.
The official accusation, which was read at the time of the arrest,
states that the suspects criminal involvement began in November
1999 and has continued through the present. According to federal
prosecutor Leslie Schwartz, at least 30 women fell prey to the evildoers.
"The women knew that they were coming here to dance, but did
not know that they would have to perform nude," said Schwartz
after the arrest. Those who found themselves practically enslaved
were told that their families, which remain in Russia, would be
physically harmed if they did not agree to come out onto the dance
floor. The women were forced to pay $1,200 to Trachtenberg and Ilyina
Sergey Malchikov brought the women from Brooklyn, where they
lived, to clubs in New Jersey, where he helped them make money,
all the while making threats concerning their families.
According to a report aired on Tuesday evening by the radio station
"Ten-ten wins," Trachtenberg arranged for visas which
are usually given out to entertainers for the women he brought.
All three suspects are accused on two charges of organized criminal
conspiracy, each of which could result in a prison sentence of up
to five years. In addition, the suspects are facing five charges
on submitting the women to forced labor and five charges on transporting
the women across the U.S. border for the purpose of forcing them
to work. On these charges each of the three members of the criminal
band face up to 20 years in prison.
The investigation of the suspects is being carried out jointly
by the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Services, and New
Yorks police department.
Translated from Russian by Katya Kumkova-Wolpert
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