CHICAGO — A Cicero woman who helped numerous undocumented immigrants from Guatemala illegally enter the United States pleaded guilty today to a federal labor trafficking charge.
CONCEPCION MALINEK, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of labor trafficking. The charge is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang set sentencing for Oct. 20, 2020, at 3:00 p.m.
The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Labor, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and Chicago Police Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher V. Parente.
Malinek admitted in a plea declaration that she assisted ten undocumented Guatemalan immigrants with illegally entering the U.S. from 2009 to 2019. Once in the country, Malinek arranged for the immigrants to reside in her home in Cicero while they worked in nearby jobs. Malinek then threatened to contact U.S. immigration authorities if the immigrants wouldn’t pay her a substantial portion of their earnings.
If you believe you are a victim of labor trafficking, you are encouraged to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 1-888-373-7888, or logging on to https://humantraffickinghotline.org/.