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BAY AREA DAYCARE SCANDAL: 4 PINOYS FACE 59 CHARGES

HUMAN TRAFFICKING, TAX EVASION, EXPLOITATION, WAGE THEFT, OTHERS SLAPPED; ILLEGAL GUNS SEIZED

 

DALY CITY, California – The Filipino community in the Bay Area is in shock after the California Attorney General’s Office unraveled its findings after a year-long investigation of a Filipino family and the operations of their four adult daycare and two child care facilities in the area.

 

California Attorney General Xavier Becera and his team disclosed in a media conference their findings resulted to the filing of at least 59 criminal charges against the Gamos family composed of Carlina, 67; Joshua, 42; Noel, 40; and Gerlen, 38, who owned and operated the Rainbow Bright Day Care facilities in Daly City, South San Francisco and Pacifica and employed mostly Filipino immigrants.

 

Becera and the team said the charges included violating human rights and worker rights, tax evasion, wage theft, rape and possession of illegal weapons. The 59 charges may increase as authorities dig further into the operations of the care facilities, they added.

 

Among those who expressed shock were Dorie Paniza, RCFE and ARF operator and 6Beds Norcal president; Ron Simpson RCFE operator and 6Beds Socal president; and Gina Wasdyke, ARF operator and 6Beds founder and director.

 

“We express the shock we feel that such abhorrent events could happen in a licensed residential facility,” they said in a joint statement sent to Philippines Today. “It in no way represent who we are, and what we stand for,” they added.

 

“We express the horror and repulsion we feel reading about the charges against six Bay Area adult and child care residential facilities. Our hearts go out to all individuals, and their families, affected by this tragic, inhuman crime,” they said.

 

Becerra said at the news conference and on Twitter that the workers of the facilities helped initiate the investigation.

 

“It was the workers who helped bring this case to light, and it is the workers who are the greatest victims of Rainbow Bright and its operations,” Becerra said. “While the employees were providing by all accounts loving care, they were doing so under egregious circumstances.”

 

He said 26 of the charges filed were for grand theft of wages and labor amounting to approximately $8.5 million. Eight of the charges were for human trafficking and violence, and another three for rape.

 

Officials also found 14 illegal assault weapons, including a loaded pistol and three “ghost” rifles without serial numbers, at a childcare facility that was also the suspects’ residence while serving the warrants.

 

Becerra said agents have also seized luxury cars vehicles, including a Lamborghini.

 

“We expect additional charges to be filed,” he said.

 

Becerra disclosed hundreds of workers may have been victimized during the 10-year period covered by the charges.

 

The defendants allegedly targeted members of the Filipino community, many of whom were new to the United States, for labor exploitation.

 

In a news conference, Becerra said additional criminal charges will be filed related to the firearms.

 

The daycare also failed to pay its fair share of state income taxes, worker’s compensation and insurance.

 

He said that under the year-long investigation by the California Department of Justice’s Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force, and included several state and local law enforcement agencies,investigators found that the suspects took away workers’ passports and forced them to work nearly 24 hours a day.

 

Since its creation in 2014, TRACE, Becerra said, has identified close to one-quarter of a billion dollars in unreported business income. Becerra urged  the public who may suspect similar crimes in their neighborhoods to contact the TRaCE task force at (855) 234-9949.

 

“What’s most painful as we discuss this is this is happening in neighborhoods,” Becerra said. “This could be happening in your backyard, in your neighborhood, with people you believe are living a regular life and being cared for.”

 

Workers slept on floors in garages in the homes that also operated as daycare facilities, Becerra said. The workers were locked outside sometimes in the rain when the owners were not home.

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