Omelyan Botsvynyuk, 52, a Ukrainian national, was sentenced by U.S District Judge Paul S. Diamond. Omelyan and his brother, Stephan, 38, were convicted October 12, 2011 of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Omelyan was also convicted of extortion.
"The sentence handed down today sends a clear message to those who are involved in human trafficking," said Special Agent-in-Charge John P. Kelleghan, of Homeland Security Investigations Philadelphia. "HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those who commit these heinous crimes are held accountable for their actions."
According to court records, between 2000 and 2007, the Botsvynyuks conspired to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity by operating their human trafficking organization. Three other brothers were also indicted in the scheme: Mykhaylo and Dmytro Botsvynyuk are awaiting extradition from
The brothers operated cleaning services with workers who were smuggled into the
While some of the workers entered the
Throughout their employment with the brothers, the workers lived up to five people in one room, slept on dirty mattresses on the floor, and were never paid. They were told that they had to work for the brothers until their debts, ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, were paid.
The brothers used physical force, threats of force, sexual assault and debt bondage to keep the victims in involuntary servitude. The brothers also threatened violence to workers' families still residing in
The Pennsylvania State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, Toronto Police Department, German National Police, Berlin State Police, Ukraine Security Service, U.S. National Central Bureau, the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs and INTERPOL assisted in the investigation.