Woman accused of holding 33 immigrants in forced-labor scheme

A woman living in a Chicago suburb has been accused of holding 33 Guatemalan immigrants in her home and forcing some of them to work.

Concepcion Malinek has been charged with two counts of forced labor, according to CBS Chicago.


Malinek is accused of helping people enter the U.S., forcing them to work in a factory and clean her home and charging them for rides to work. 

The FBI said that Malinek received $120,000 in rent payments last year, the CBS affiliate reported.

According to a reported criminal complaint detailing some of the victims' accounts, one unnamed victim told authorities that Malinek was "verbally abusive.” 

“Immigration knows how many people live in this house," Malinek allegedly told them. "You guys are poor, and I have all the money.”

Prosecutors said that Malinek has "enslaved" the victims for years and the FBI found them living in "deplorable" conditions including with mold, cockroaches and sewage backing up, according to The Chicago Sun-Times

Malinek reportedly told victims they couldn't leave until they had paid off thousands of dollars in debt to her, prosecutors said. 

Malinek is being held in federal custody until her trial.