Meadville woman arrested for child labor trafficking
A Meadville, Pennsylvania woman has been arrested for her alleged part in a labor trafficking scheme in Mifflin County.
State attorney general Josh Shapiro announced that 44-year-old Ellen Cummings ran Tip Top Resources/Go2Detailing, a car detailing business, with her boyfriend, Scott Mogel, who died in 2020.
An investigation conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police revealed that Cummings and Mogel allegedly forced minors, including foster children in their care, to work at their business without compensation.
“These individuals took advantage of vulnerable young people, some of which were under their care as foster parents, for the profit of their business,” said AG Shapiro.
The investigation into Cummings began in 2020 when a victim’s family learned of the alleged abuse and contacted the Lewistown Borough Police Department.
According to investigators, Cummings and Mogel forced their victims, who were all minors, to work at Tip Top Resources/Go2Detailing, washing and detailing cars and performing clerical duties without pay.
Victims slept on air mattresses at the business in the same room as Mogel, Cummings, and Cummings’ children, and food was kept in a locked refrigerator only to be eaten at designated mealtimes.
“Labor trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, and we hope this arrest brings some justice for the victims involved,” said Pennsylvania State Police Captain James Cuttitta, Director of the Special Investigations Division in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Cummings was arrested on Wednesday and charged with Involuntary Servitude, Criminal Conspiracy, Unlawful Restraint, False Imprisonment of a Minor, Trafficking in Individuals, and non-payment of Wages.
As of Friday, Cummings remained held in the Mifflin County Correctional Facility on a $500,000 bond.