CICERO, Ill. — A woman in Cicero was charged after being accused of holding several dozen people from Guatemala in her home and using them for forced labor.
Concepcion Malinek, 49, was arrested after federal authorities found 19 adults and 14 children in the basement of her home Wednesday morning. She now faces federal forced labor charges.
In a 12-page criminal complaint, the FBI said they found the 33 people living in a house county records say is 1,900 square feet and has four bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
Some of the people living in the home were from the same families. All of them were from Guatemala and were forced to live in the basement.
Investigators said Malinek helped them come to the United States and then got them jobs at a Romeoville factory. They were also forced to turn over most of their wages to her. Malinek would threaten to turn them into immigration authorities.
Neighbors said they would see them being loaded into four vans in the morning to go to work and return at night.
Malinek will be back in front of a judge in the next few days.