CHICAGO (CBS) — The husband of a woman facing federal charges in an alleged forced labor scheme, accused of keeping 33 people from Guatemala in her basement, is a federal employee, CBS 2 has learned.
Concepcion Malinek’s husband is a TSA officer, and while he’s part of the ongoing investigation, he’s has not been charged.
Concepcion Malinek is in custody, facing federal forced labor charges. But her husband is still living in the 1,900 square-foot home they share with 19 adults and 14 children from Guatemala.
He peeped through the blinds at CBS 2 crews but never came to the door.
He told the judge who denied his wife’s bond that he didn’t know what was going on.
The Transportation Safety Authority released the following statement to CBS 2:
“TSA has become aware that an employee’s spouse was arrested in connection to an alleged labor trafficking case. TSA is cooperating with law enforcement during their investigation.”
The people kept in the home were living in filth. Authorities found sewage backed up in the basement most were forced to live in as well as cockroaches, mold and mattresses.
They said they couldn’t go upstairs without permission.
Of the 14 children, one was as young as 18 months.
According to the federal complaint, a 15-year-old girl was allegedly given an ID that said she was 27, so she could work at a factory during the week. She told investigators the money she made went right to Malinek, who would say they would be deported if they told anyone what was going on, but she would keep the children.
A representative with the Department of children and Family Services said it is not investigating and has no further information on the situation.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not responded to requests for information regarding its possible involvement moving forward.
Malinek will remain in custody until trial. No date has been set for that yet, but she could be facing 20 years per count in this case.