by Agency Reporter
A Nigerian, Kizzy Kalu, allegedly lured foreigners to America to work for a nonexistent university before setting them up with jobs and stealing almost half of their salaries.
According to ABC News on Monday, Kalu, 47, of Colorado is facing charges of human trafficking in what the government described as an “elaborate scheme”.
He appeared in US District Court March 8 and was arraigned on the indictment. A US Magistrate Judge ordered Kalu released on bond. However, that decision is being appealed by the government.
He is accused of enticing foreign nurses to work as teachers at ‘Adam University’ in Denver, which his alleged accomplice, Philip Langerman, 77, had made up, according to the police.
Kalu, who is being held by US Marshals, promised a salary of between $68,000 and $72,000 annually for the fictional teaching positions.
The foreign nationals had to pay fees to Kalu and his company Foreign Healthcare Professional Group in exchange for assistance in obtaining the visas, according to the charges.
Once they were in the United States, Kalu said that the positions were no longer available, and had them work for him at long-term care facilities that contracted with his company for employees.
He used methods of coercion, including the threat of causing their deportation, to obtain their labour.
Kalu allegedly passed on only 65 per cent of the wages to his employees.
He faces 132 charges, including visa fraud, forced labor, money laundering, human trafficking, criminal forfeiture and mail fraud and could be jailed for 20 years if convicted.
Kalu is the chairman and CEO of Global Energy Initiatives, which manufactures and deploys hydro-kinetic power generators to Brazil and other developing countries, according to its website.
Photographs on his Facebook page show Kalu with his wife, Nicole, at the White House for an energy briefing in September.
Kalu also runs the Global Village Hope Foundation, an international voluntourism program, reports ABC News.
Langerman is listed as a PhD and one of Adam University’s directors, according to the indictment.
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