Suburban Chicago woman pleads guilty to labor trafficking

CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago woman has pleaded guilty to a federal labor charge for helping several people from Guatemala enter the U.S. and then forbidding them from leaving her home until they paid off their debt to her.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 50-year-old Concepcion Malinek of Cicero, Illinois, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of labor trafficking.

Prosecutors said she admitted helping 10 Guatemalan immigrants with illegally entering the U.S. from 2009 to 2019. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that she then charged them fees and demanded payment while threatening to have them deported.

Authorities found 33 people living in her home.