Photo: Illegal Immigrants Working as Strippers
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara and other authorities announced charges today against 20 individuals for their participation in a scheme that involved recruiting women from Russia and other Eastern European countries to illegally enter the U.S. to work as exotic dancers at strip clubs controlled by the Gambino and Bonnano Organized Crime Families of La Cosa Nostra.
The defendants procured and sent these women false job offers for waitressing and other positions they would then include on their visa applications. However, once the women arrived in the U.S., they worked as exotic dancers at the Strip Clubs, in violation of visa rules prohibiting employment in the adult entertainment industry.
Several of the defendants also arranged for many of the women to enter into sham marriages with U.S. citizens.
All of the defendants were arrested today and will be presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge in Manhattan federal court this afternoon.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “As alleged, the schemes in which these defendants participated ran the gamut of criminal activity—from racketeering and extortion, to immigration and marriage fraud. And the defendants themselves had one thing in common—the desire to turn the women they allegedly helped enter this country illegally into their personal profit centers. Today’s arrests have brought an end to their illicit activities.”