Filipina Maria Luisa Estrella Jaidi is facing a maximum of 10 years in prison after she arrested in the United States for visa fraud and illegally recruiting workers.
Jaidi, who is married to a Moroccan ambassador, is originally from the Philippines but with residence in New York. She was arrested upon the filing of charges over fixing illegal work visas for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and later subjecting these workers to illegal labor.
Ramon Singson Estrella, her brother, is charged with the same offenses, as well, however, he remains at large.
The District Attorney of New York, in a statement released last March, said: “Jaidi, 60, of Bronxville, New York, and Estrella, 55, of Manila, Philippines, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and make materially false statements, which carries a maximum sentence of five years, and one count of conspiracy to induce aliens to illegally come to, enter, and reside in the United States, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.”
The brother and sister tandem fixed U.S. visas and claimed that the Filipinos they recruited would work as clerks or technicians at the Moroccan consulate in New York.
The OFWs, however, ended up as drivers, helpers, farmhands and assistants in their house and property in New York.
“The fraudulent employment contracts also overstated the Domestic Workers’ salaries, understated their hours, and falsely guaranteed benefits, including, among others, sick leave, dental insurance, and medical insurance,” the District Attorney of New York noted.
The OFWs were denied workers benefits and were subjected to certain abuses like working seven days a week by Jaidi and her former husband – who was not named in the press statement. The workers were also required to surrender their passports, according to the District Attorney of New York. (AJPress)