(NEW YORK) -- An ex-dean at New York's St. John's University is facing forced labor charges after being accused of exploiting students by having them run errands and do chores at her home.
Cecilia Chang, 57, the recently fired dean of the Institute of Asian Studies and the vice president for international relations at St. John's, allegedly threatened to withdraw scholarships from students if they did not perform the personal tasks.
According to allegations in a federal complaint, students were forced to make meals at Chang's home, answer her personal e-mails and even deliver cash to her at a casino. The complaint also said that students were allegedly made to wash her clothes, shovel snow at her home and drive her son to the airport at 3:00 a.m.
Ron Rubenstein, Chang's attorney, stated that she is "not a slave-driver" and that students prepared Chang's home for school-related dinners that she was hosting and that the work is similar to other college work-study programs.
Officials from the university said that students working under Chang will not lose their scholarships.
This is only the latest in a torrent of accusations against Chang, who was arrested on September 15 on state charges that she embezzled approximately $1 million from the University. The charges, which she has denied, led to her dismissal from St. John's and further investigation into her treatment of students.
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