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Joseph Yannai, New York Writer, Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Sex Trafficking Charges

Joseph Yannai (WCBS)

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Writer Joseph Yannai has pleaded not guilty in an alleged scheme to lure young women from overseas into forced labor.

Federal prosecutors allege he used au pair websites to try convince his victims that he was in the publishing business and looking for an assistant.

The 66-year-old Yannai wrote a reference guide to the world's top chefs called "The International Who's Who of Chefs 2004-2005."

Joseph Yannai entered the plea Thursday, Aug. 5 in federal court in Brooklyn. He'll remain in jail pending an Aug. 9 bail hearing. He also is facing similar state charges, including labour trafficking and sexual abuse of women from Hungary, France and Brazil.

If convicted in the federal case, he could be sentenced to life in prison and lose his home in a Westchester County suburb of New York City.

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Aug. 4, 2010 - Joseph Yannai, Wrote Popular Chef's Guide, Indicted for Sex Trafficking by Feds