Despite Abraham Lincoln’s best efforts, it seems slavery is alive and well. A wealthy woman in New York has been slapped with criminal charges after being accused of keeping an illegal immigrant as her indentured servant and forcing the woman to live in a closet for six years.
Official court documents claim that Annie George, 39, and her now-deceased husband, Mathai Kolath George, hired an illegal immigrant from India. The immigrant, one “V.M.,” was promised about $1,000 per month in wages to live in the family’s 34-room, 30,000-square-foot home, known as Llenroc mansion.
The mansion houses a helicopter pad, 15 fireplaces, marble floors, gold-gilded ceilings, and even a glass elevator. V.M. was hired to help care for the Georges’ four young children and to perform household duties in the mansion.
Given New York State’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, a typical 40-hour work week for V.M. would have earned her a minimum, pretax income of $290 per week – or $1,160 per month.
Instead, V.M. got $0.85 per hour while working 17-hour days, seven days a week through the 67 months she was holed up in the George residence.
She received a grand total of $29,000 over the 5 1/2 years she was forced to work for the George family.
Fortunately, immigration agents got a tip from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center in 2011 and removed V.M. from mansion. The U.S. Department of Labor conducted a probe and said that V.M. is entitled to $206,000 in back pay. She was also allegedly denied health benefits, personal time, or sick days.
Annie George, whose husband was killed in a 2009 plane crash, apparently phoned V.M.’s son three times, asking him to “tell his mother to tell authorities that she was a relative of George’s family and was only staying at George’s house as a guest.”
V.M.’s son recorded those phone call, however, which included the following from Annie – “If she says anything about working, it would become a big crime. They’ll start adding up all the taxes and everything, for all the time.”
The George estate has now been put up for sale for about $30 million.
Annie George appeared before a federal magistrate on Wednesday, facing charges of encouraging and inducing an illegal alien to reside in the United States.
- Wealthy family enslaves servant for years (disclose.tv)
- Annie George: NY Woman Accused of Keeping Illegal Immigrant from India as Servant (ibtimes.com)
- Report: Maid Was Slave To Wealthy Widow (myfoxny.com)