QUEENS, N.Y. (CN) – A Shaolin Temple in Flushing imprisoned, beat and starved a martial arts instructor from China and refused to pay him for nearly 5 years – until he killed himself – his survivor says.
The Temple arranged for Ji Mei Wang to emigrate to from China in 2001-02, according to the complaint in Queens Supreme Court. The Department of Labor was told that Wang would teach children to “learn discipline, develop coordination and enhance their flexibility and strength.”
The visa application claimed that Ji would be paid $25,000 a year, says his survivor Yan Zhang Shi. Yan says the temple paid Ji nothing for the 4 years and 30 weeks he worked for it, and was imprisoned by it. Yan says it owes Ji’s estate $114,000.
Yan says the Shaolin Temple “secreted” his passport, leaving him “imprisoned in the Temple” and “under their control.” And Yan says the abuse he suffered included beating and starvation, which drove him “to the point where (he) believed he had no effective escape from his abuser except through suicide.”
He was found dead on Nov. 24, 2006. He died intestate.
Yan seeks his Ji’s wages and $2 million in punitive damages for breach of contract, conversion and unjust enrichment. Yan is represented by George Clarke with Dai & Associates.