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California

Siblings charged with forcing cousin to work in San Diego nail salons

The owners of Eden Nails Lounge & Spa and Majestic Nail Salon in Rancho Bernardo, Calif., were arrested and arraigned Thursday on federal forced labor charges.
The owners of Eden Nails Lounge & Spa and Majestic Nail Salon in Rancho Bernardo, Calif., were arrested and arraigned Thursday on federal forced labor charges.
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A brother and sister accused of forcing their second cousin to work long hours at a pair of San Diego salons the siblings own were arrested and arraigned Thursday on federal forced labor charges.

Cindy Mydung Luu, 53, and Jason Luu, 44, both of San Diego, were arrested Thursday morning at their Tierrasanta home for allegedly luring the victim — their second cousin, who married Jason Luu — from Vietnam to San Diego and forcing her to work long hours at Eden Nails Lounge & Spa and Majestic Nail Salon in Rancho Bernardo.

The salons were investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor for minimum wage and overtime violations, according to Wage and Hour District Director Rodolfo Cortez.

Prosecutors allege the siblings kept the victim working at their salons over the course of five years by causing her “to believe she would suffer financial and reputational harm if she did not continue working.”

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Jason Luu is also charged with visa fraud for allegedly falsely stating on the victim’s visa application that she lived with him, while she was actually living at a different home owned by the defendants.

U.S. Atty. Robert Brewer said the case was brought to his office’s attention by “two caring and vigilant nail salon customers who had befriended the victim.”

The Luus are next due in court Jan. 17 for a motion and trial-setting hearing.


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