4 charged in connection with undocumented MOA kiosk workers


Four managers of Natural Beauty and Hollywood Hair kiosks at the Mall of America have been charged in federal court, accused of knowingly using undocumented workers to run the operations, the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune report.

The four recruited five workers from Israel and Ukraine and paid rent on their Bloomington apartment, and the violations date back to September 2009, the newspaper reports. The kiosk operators even took the workers to and from work, according to a Justice Department press release.

A complaint notes that the four were able to avoid offering benefits to the workers by not reporting the workers' wages. Three of the four charged are from St. Paul and one is from California, according to the release.

It was not the first time Israeli mall kiosk workers have caught the attention of U.S. immigration officials. A number of Israelis have taken jobs selling brand-name cosmetics at mall kiosks across the United States, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported earlier this year.

More than a dozen Israeli citizens were arrested earlier this year for overstaying their visas and working at kiosks in Houston-area malls, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Two years ago, the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv warned Israelis against illegal work in the United States, the Jerusalem Post reported.

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