Filipino care home owners charged with human trafficking, wage theft, violence
SAN MATEO, California – Filipino-owners of an adult and child care facility are facing charges of violating human rights and worker rights, tax evasion, and possession of illegal weapons.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday, September 7 brought 59 criminal charges against members of the Gamos family — Joshua, 42; Noel, 40; Gerlen, 38; and Carlina 67, owners and operators of Rainbow Bright Daycare.
Rainbow Bright has four adult care facilities and two child care facilities in South San Francisco, Daly City, and Pacifica, and
employed mostly Filipino immigrants. The workers helped initiate the investigation, Becerra told a news conference Friday.
Twenty-six of the charges were for grand theft of wages and labor amounting to approximately $8.5 million. Eight of the charges were for human trafficking and violence, and another three for rape.
Officials also found 14 illegal assault weapons, including a loaded firearm, at a child care facility that was also the suspects’ residence.
Hundreds of workers may have been victimized during the 10-year period covered by the charges. The daycare also failed to pay its fair share of state income taxes, worker’s compensation and insurance.
Under the year-long investigation by the California Department of Justice’s Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force, investigators found that the suspects took away workers’ passports and forced them to work nearly 24 hours a day.
Workers slept on floors in garages in the homes that also operated as daycare facilities, Becerra said. The workers were locked outside sometimes in the rain when the owners were not home.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.