ELK GROVE (CBS13) — An Elk Grove woman was indicted Friday on charges of forcing victims to provide labor and related offenses, according to the Department of Justice.
Firdos Sheikh, 58, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on two counts of forced labor, two counts of alien harboring for financial gain, one count of obstructing a forced labor investigation, and one count of making false statements to federal agents.
According to the indictment, Sheikh harbored and concealed two victims on her property and other locations between October 2008 and June 2013. She also forced them to provide labor and services for her financial benefit.
The defendant also lied to federal agents in July 2013 and attempted to hide one of the victims from the agents in order to obstruct their investigation.
According to the Justice Department, “an indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.”
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and mandatory restitution to the victims.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys William E. Nolan and David Reese of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, with assistance from Trial Attorney Amanda Wick of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section.