Woman who illegally hosted African girl faces federal charges

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A woman charged with keeping an African girl here illegally for more than a dozen years and making her work for almost nothing told Eyewitness News the allegations aren't true.

Moyhe Zie and her husband, Priva Zie, are facing federal charges after a grand jury said they paid for a 9-year-old girl to come to the U.S. from the Ivory Coast and work for them in their home and at the salons that Moyhe Zie runs here in Charlotte and in Concord.

The indictment says that Moyhe Zie and her husband took the girl's passport and did not renew her visa when it expired in 1994, and that the girl worked in their salon starting when she was 11-years-old -- working 40 hours a week or more for $50-$150 a week.

But Moyhe said told us that's not true.

"It's just a bunch of lies. ... That is my niece ...that I raised as my daughter who's making all those stories up to get a green card and make some money out of me, that's all," Zie said outside her salon Friday afternoon.

She said the girl is now 28 years old, married and living in Charlotte, and believes that she may have gone to federal authorities because she is trying to get her immigration status legalized.

"I'm surprised ... at how far people can go to try to make money out of you," Zie said.

"When we go to court, like I said, everything will be cleared up," she added.

Zie and her husband are scheduled to make their first court appearance on Oct. 23.