News Briefs: January 26th – February 1

Area Equity Foundation Issues $200,000 in Grants

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has announced several grants made to organizations through multiple discretionary funds. These grants, amounting to more than $200,000 will increase equity by  supporting educational opportunities, increasing access to social and economic support, and helping strengthen community resilience for residents across the region.

Here are the organizations funded:

Afghan Refugee and Resettlement Fund: 3 Grants Totaling 10,500; Annandale High School: $2,300; FAMIL: $3,200, Women for Afghan Women

Business Women’s Giving Circlezz: 3 Grants Totaling $50,000

Sustainability Matters: Ecologigals ($20,000) Boolean Girl: Boolean Girl Clubhouse ($15,000) Black Girls Hack: We Got Next Cyber Training Program ($15,000)

Healthy Kids Mental Health Grants: 6 Grants Totaling $9,781. Cherry Run Elementary School/ Fairfax County Public Schools: $1,695, Fairfax County Public Schools Early Child Identification & Services: $1,540; ort Belvoir Upper School: $1,977; Briar Woods High School/ Loudoun County Public Schools: $2,000, Orange Hunt Elementary School/ Fairfax County Public Schools : $1,519

Saratoga Elementary School/ Fairfax County Public Schoolszzzzz: $1,050. 

Loudoun Impact Fund: 13 Grants Totaling $121,000; A Farm Less Ordinary : $7,000; All Ages Read Together:  $5,000; A Place to Be : $10,000; Crossroads Jobs: $5,000; Dulles South Food Pantry: $7,000; LAWS Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services: $13,000; Friends of Loudoun Mental Health, Inc.: $5,000; Loudoun Cares : $7,000; Loudoun Hunger Relief: $9,000; Loudoun Education Foundation: $8,000; Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers: $9,000; The Arc of Loudoun : $10,000; Ryan Bartel Foundation: $12,000

3 Sentenced For Forced Labor Of Pakistani Woman in N. Va. 

A federal court in Richmond, Virginia, sentenced three defendants this week for conspiracy to commit forced labor for compelling the domestic labor of a Pakistani woman for 12 years.

Zahida Aman, 80, was sentenced to 144 months in federal prison, Mohammed Rehan Chaudhri, 48, to 120 months in federal prison and Mohammad Nauman Chaudhri, 55, to 60 months in federal prison in the Eastern District of Virginia. Additionally, the Court ordered Aman and Rehan Chaudhri to pay the victim $250,000 in restitution for back wages and other financial losses she incurred as a result of the defendants’ criminal conduct.  

Following a seven-day trial in May 2022, the jury convicted all of the defendants of conspiracy to commit forced labor, convicted two of the defendants of forced labor and convicted Aman of document servitude. Aman arranged for her son’s marriage to the victim in 2002, but even after the victim’s husband moved away from the home, the defendants kept the victim in their Virginia home to serve the extended family. 

“These defendants callously exploited the victim’s vulnerabilities and brutally coerced her labor through physical violence and emotional abuse,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to vindicating the rights of survivors and bringing human traffickers to justice.”

“Human trafficking is a global issue that cannot be tackled alone,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI will remain committed to investigating all forms of human trafficking and work with our law enforcement partners in combatting the problem.” 

DOJ Sues Google for Advertising Monopoly

This week, the Justice Department, along with the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia, filed a civil antitrust suit against Google for monopolizing multiple digital advertising technology products in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the complaint alleges that Google monopolizes key digital advertising technologies, collectively referred to as the “ad tech stack,” that website publishers depend on to sell ads and that advertisers rely on to buy ads and reach potential customers. 

Website publishers use ad tech tools to generate advertising revenue that supports the creation and maintenance of a vibrant open web, providing the public with unprecedented access to ideas, artistic expression, information, goods, and services. Through this monopolization lawsuit, the Justice Department and state Attorneys General seek to restore competition in these important markets and obtain equitable and monetary relief on behalf of the American public.

As alleged in the complaint, over the past 15 years, Google has engaged in a course of anticompetitive and exclusionary conduct that consisted of neutralizing or eliminating ad tech competitors through acquisitions; wielding its dominance across digital advertising markets to force more publishers and advertisers to use its products; and thwarting the ability to use competing products. In doing so, Google cemented its dominance in tools relied on by website publishers and online advertisers, as well as the digital advertising exchange that runs ad auctions.

“Today’s complaint alleges that Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “No matter the industry and no matter the company, the Justice Department will vigorously enforce our antitrust laws to protect consumers, safeguard competition, and ensure economic fairness and opportunity for all.”