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North Carolina nail salon owner sentenced for forced labor

Thuy Tien Luong (Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office).jpeg
Posted at 7:44 PM, Jun 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-18 20:44:39-04

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)  — A North Carolina woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for using verbal, physical and emotional threats to coerce a person to work at her nail salon for nearly two years, according to a federal prosecutor.

Thuy Tien Luong, 38, of Charlotte was also sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution to the victim, U.S. Attorney Dena J. King said Wednesday in a news release. Luong was convicted of forced labor on Jan. 8, 2021 after a five-day trial.

Evidence presented at her trial showed Luong punished the victim when she disobeyed the defendant or otherwise failed to perform to the defendant’s satisfaction. In one instance, she falsely claimed that the victim owed her $180,000, made her sign a debt contract and threatened to go to the police if the victim did not continue to work to pay off the fabricated debt, a news release said.

The defendant also beat the victim with nail salon tools, leaving the victim with scars, bruises and marks, prosecutors said.

Luong’s scheme caused the victim to continue working for her until a particularly violent assault led her to contact the Davidson Police Department, according to the news release.