A couple from Burlington County has been convicted of forced labor and other crimes related to a scheme to compel two victims to perform domestic labor and childcare in their home.

Bolaji Bolarinwa and Isiaka Bolarinwa Found Guilty

Federal authorities say,

  • 50-year-old Bolaji Bolarinwa was found guilty of two counts of forced labor, one count of alien harboring for financial gain, and two counts of document servitude
  • 67-year-old Isiaka Bolarinwa was found guilty of two counts of forced labor and one count of alien harboring for financial gain

The defendants were each acquitted of a second count of alien harboring for financial gain.

Brutal Timeline

According to officials, from December 2015 to October 2016, the duo, originally from Nigeria but living in New Jersey as U.S. citizens, recruited two victims to come to the United States and then coerced them to perform domestic labor and childcare services for their children through physical harm, threats, isolation, constant surveillance, and psychological abuse.

Once the first victim arrived in the country, Bolaji Bolarinwa confiscated her passport and coerced her through threats of physical harm to her and her daughter, verbal abuse, isolation, and constant surveillance to compel her to work every day, around the clock, for nearly a year.

Isiaka was aware of his wife’s threats and abusive behavior toward the victim and directly benefited from the victim’s cooking, cleaning, and childcare.

The defendants then recruited a second victim to come to the United States on a student visa. When the second victim arrived, Bolaji Bolarinwa similarly confiscated her passport and coerced her to perform household work and childcare but relied more heavily on physical abuse.

On at least one occasion, Isiaka Bolarinwa also physically abused the second victim.

The two victims lived and worked in the Bolarinwa home until October 2016, when the second victim notified a professor at her college, who reported the information to the FBI.

U.S..Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said in a statement,

These defendants engaged in an egregious bait-and-switch, luring the victims with false promises of a life and an education in the United States, and instead subjected them to grueling hours, physical abuse and psychological abuse. Forced labor and human trafficking are abhorrent crimes that have no place in our society, and I am grateful to our team of prosecutors, agents and support staff for ensuring that justice was done in this case.

The defendants face up to 20 years in prison for each forced labor count and 10 years for alien harboring.

Bolaji Bolarinwa faces up to an additional five years behind bars for each unlawful document conduct count.

They will also be required to pay mandatory restitution to the two victims and each faces a fine on each count of up to $250,000.

Human Trafficking Tip Line

Anyone who has information about human trafficking should contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888.

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