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Customers help human trafficking victim at a California nail salon

Posted at 10:45 PM, Dec 12, 2019

SAN DIEGO - A brother and sister who own two Rancho Bernardo, California, nail salons were arraigned Thursday on federal charges they were part of a forced labor conspiracy.

Cindy Mydung Luu and Jason Luu lured their second cousin from Vietnam to San Diego in 2014 to work long hours in their salons, Eden Nails Lounge & Spa and Majestic Nail Salon, prosecutors said.

The woman arrived on a student visa and attended Grossmont College, but applied for a spouse visa after marrying Jason Luu in 2016. Prosecutors said the siblings “engaged in a scheme intended to cause the victim to believe she would suffer financial and reputational harm if she did not continue working.”

The siblings own Eden Nails Lounge & Spa and Majestic Nail Salon in Rancho Bernardo.

“We are very grateful that this matter came to the attention of the Human Trafficking Task Force upon the suggestion and support of two caring and vigilant nail salon customers who had befriended the victim,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “With their assistance, Task Force officers were able to assist the victim immediately and to investigate these alleged crimes.”

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division also investigated the defendants’ nail salon for minimum wage and overtime violations, according to prosecutors.

The Luu’s were arrested at their home in Tierrasanta Thursday morning. They are scheduled to appear in federal court on Jan. 17.

This article was written by Allison Horn for KGTV .