A family that ran child and adult care facilities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area has been accused of human trafficking and other serious crimes, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The California Attorney General on Friday announced charges against four members of the Gamos family, who range in age from 38 to 67. They also are accused of rape, labor exploitation and theft.
According to court documents, the defendants targeted the Filipino community as victims, including those who were in the United States without documentation.
When the FBI arrested the family and raided their offices, agents discovered and seized 14 illegal assault weapons, including three “ghost guns” that didn’t have any serial numbers. Such weapons effectively allow buyers to evade background checks and registration rules.
“No worker in the United States should live in fear or be subjected to violence, abuse or exploitation at the hands of their employer,” state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. “The charges against the Gamos family members are despicable. We must not turn a blind eye to abusive labor practices. Report it, and we will investigate and prosecute.”
The criminal complaint says the family members – Carlina, Joshua, Noel and Gerlen – owned and operated the Rainbow Bright care centers, which included two child facilities and four adult facilities.
The business’ employees allegedly were required to work 24 hours per day and had to sleep in garages and on floors. The family also is accused of failing to pay $8.5 million worth of wages to the workers and evading taxes and worker compensation contributions.
Police investigating the case determined that the Gamos family discouraged workers from escaping the conditions by threatening to report them to federal immigration authorities and seizing their passports.
[Feature Photo: Carlina, Noel, Joshua, and Gerlam Gamos/ San Mateo County SO]