Two Charged for Enslaving Strippers

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Melanie Orhant (mgo6@cornell.edu)
Tue, 29 Sep 1998 16:14:33 -0500


>Two Charged for Enslaving Strippers
>
>By ERIC FIDLER
>
>.c The Associated Press
>
>CHICAGO (AP) -- They spent their days like prisoners inside a
>one-bedroom
>apartment until they were driven to Chicago nightclubs and forced to
>strip
>for $20 a night.
>
>Any thoughts the Latvian women had of escaping the routine, the FBI
>says,
>were scared away by gun-wielding Alex Mishulovich, who claimed
>allegiance
>with the Chechnyan mafia.
>
>Mishulovich, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Russia who lives in a
>Chicago
>suburb, posed as a nightclub owner to bring at least five Latvian women
>to
>the Chicago area, according to an FBI affidavit released Thursday.
>
>Mishulovich and his wife, Rudite Pede, approached the young woman on the
>
>streets of Riga, Latvia, and told them they could earn up to $60,000 a
>year
>dancing for men who wouldn't be allowed to grope them, the affidavit
>alleged.
>
>In a country where the average monthly income is about $250, the offer
>was
>enticing, the FBI said.
>
>Mishulovich helped the women obtain immigration papers, but as soon as
>they
>arrived in Chicago he took their papers, locked them in apartments or
>hotel
>rooms, beat them and threatened to kill them, the FBI said.
>
>Mishulovich was charged with visa fraud, peonage -- keeping someone in
>servitude-- and conspiracy to commit peonage. He faces up to 40 years in
>
>prison if convicted. Pede was charged with visa fraud and conspiracy to
>commit peonage, and she faces 30 years in prison. Three others were
>charged
>in the scheme.
>
>The couple were being held without bond until a hearing on Monday. It
>was
>not immediately known whether they had attorneys.
>
>Authorities said Mishulovich told the women his mobster associates would
>
>kill their families in Latvia if they refused to obey him. At times, the
>
>affidavit said, he held a gun to a woman's head or put a knife to her
>throat.
>
>The women would earn as much as $600 a night in strip clubs, but were
>forced to give all but $20 to Mishulovich or his associates, said the
>FBI.
>
>The alleged conspiracy was uncovered by an American embassy official who
>
>became suspicious when many of the women listed the same address where
>they
>would be staying in the United States.
>
>AP-NY-09-12-98 0516EDT
>
>
>Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.
>
>

Melanie Orhant

Co-Director
Human Trafficking Program
Global Survival Network

P.O. Box 73214
Washington, DC 20009
T: 387-0028
F: 387-2590
Email: morhant@igc.org
www.globalsurvival.net


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