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An Elizabethtown cardiologist and his ex-wife pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to federal charges involving harboring an undocumented Bolivian national for financial gain.
Dr. Javier Arce, 59, pleaded guilty to failing to report knowledge of a felony to the proper authorities. His former wife, Cristina Mier Arce, 56, pleaded guilty to harboring for financial gain.
Both were sentenced to two years of probation, according to a news release from the office of David J. Hale, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
The two were indicted in June 2011 on charges of conspiracy and harboring for financial gain following an FBI investigation.
According to the indictment, the victim was a Bolivian woman whom the Arces recruited and illegally brought into the country.
The indictment alleged the woman worked in the Arces’ Elizabethtown home for nearly 15 years, caring for their children, cleaning their house, preparing meals and other domestic duties.
The victim was falsely told a bank account was opened on her behalf and she was never paid the promised amount for her services, according to the indictment.
The indictment alleged Cristina Arce confiscated the woman’s passport. According to the document, the victim was “coerced” into remaining in service by threats of arrest and deportation.
In addition to two-year probation, the judge ordered the Arces to pay the victim’s back wages, which amount to $100,000.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.