DENVER (CBS) – A businessman from Highlands Ranch will do prison time for luring foreign nurses with promises of an education and high paying jobs.
A federal jury in Denver convicted Kizzy Kalu on 89 counts after prosecutors said he threatened the nurses to pay him a kickback or be deported.
Kalu’s LinkedIn page lists him as the CEO of a global nonprofit organization, but on Monday in court a jury found him guilty of trafficking in forced labor, mail and visa fraud and money laundering.
The charges all stemmed from a business run out of Kalu’s home. He would solicit for nurses from the Philipines to come study in the United States. The business stated interested parties could simply make out a payment to Kalu for $250.
But the college listed at the address Kalu provided didn’t exist, and the women who came were put to work as nurses in nursing homes.
The employer started asking questions, which triggered the federal investigation.
After a month long trial it took the jury only two half days of deliberations.
“Why did you think this was a scam?” CBS4’s Rick Sallinger asked Nick Miller, one of the jurors.
“The government just had enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt for us,” Miller said. “Everything was just kind of there.”
Kalu remains in custody but he will back here in court Sept. 23 for his sentencing hearing.
“We’re a little surprised by the verdict, but we’ve got pending litigation so I prefer not to comment at this point,” said Peter Menges, Kalu’s attorney.