⚫ NJ couple convicted of federal charges

⚫ 2 women had passports taken, forced into labor

⚫ Medical professional couple abused victims

A Burlington County couple has been found guilty of federal charges for stealing two female victim’s passports and forcing them into housework and childcare amid threats and abuse.

Following a trial in Camden federal court, 50-year-old Bolaji Bolarinwa and 67-year-old Isiaka Bolarinwa were both convicted of alien harboring for financial gain and two counts of forced labor, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced.

Bolaji Bolarinwa was also found guilty of two counts of document servitude.

Bolaji Bolarinwa (left) and Isiaka Bolarinwa (right) (via linkedin, stremibehavioralhealth.com)
Bolaji Bolarinwa (left) and Isiaka Bolarinwa (right) (via linkedin, stremibehavioralhealth.com)

NJ medical professional couple abused, threatened victims

Bolaji and Isiaka Bolarinwa are U.S. citizens who live in Moorestown — both originally from Nigeria.

Federal authorities said starting in December 2015, they recruited two victims to come to the U.S., with promises of new opportunities and a better life.

Once here, each female was then forced into domestic labor and childcare services in the Bolarinwa home — through physical abuse as well as threats of physical harm, isolation, constant surveillance and psychological abuse.

The Bolarinwas have been active medical professionals with psychiatric specialities, according to online records.

Isiaka Bolarinwa has been board-certified in adult and child Psychiatry and has been a Chairman of the Board of Trustees at South Jersey Behavioral Health Resources Center.

Bolaji Bolarinwa was listed online as a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Victims forced into grueling housework, childcare in NJ (Canva)

After forcing the first victim to work every day, around-the-clock for nearly a year, cooking cleaning and providing childcare — the Bolarinwas then recruited another female to arrive on a student visa in April 2016.

The second victim endured more physical abuse while being forced into similar labor, prosecutors said, for about seven months.

In October 2016, she notified a professor at her college, who reported the information to the FBI.

The Bolarinwas face a maximum of 20 years in prison for each forced labor count.

They also face a maximum of 10 years in prison for alien harboring for financial gain — both were acquitted of a second such count.

The Bolarinwas would also be required to pay mandatory restitution to both victims and a massive fine on each count.

“These defendants engaged in an egregious bait-and-switch, luring the victims with false promises of a life and an education in the United States, and instead subjected them to grueling hours, physical abuse and psychological abuse,” Sellinger said in a written release.

“Imagine showing up in a foreign land, hoping for a better life, and ending up trapped with no place to go and no one to turn to for help,” FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge James Dennehy said in the same release.

Dennehy continued “The victims in this investigation suffered in unimaginable ways at the hands of their captors, enduring years of physical and mental abuse. Human trafficking often takes on many different forms and can hide in plain sight.”

Anyone who has information about human trafficking has been urged to report that information to the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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