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Latino Daily News

Friday March 2, 2012

Undocumented Immigrant Forced to Work for $.85 an Hour at New York Mansion

Undocumented Immigrant Forced to Work for $.85 an Hour at New York Mansion

Photo: V.M. worked for $.85 a day at the Llenroc mansion in New York

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

After the original owner of a Rexford, New York mansion known as Llenroc lost his house Annie George, 39, and her husband moved in, but what no one knew was that for more than 5 years, an undocumented immigrant was being employed under near forced labor conditions.

The immigrant, who was only identified in court documents as an Indian immigrant named “V.M.”, was offered employment as housekeeper with a monthly income of about $1000.

Instead, V.M. was paid just 85 cents an hour and worked 17 hours a day for 67 months. While there she cooked, cleaned the 34-room, 30,000-square-foot mansion, and raised the couple’s five children. Mrs. George wanted V.M. near the children at all times and forced her to sleep in the walk-in closet of the family’s three daughters.

The Smoking Gun writes:

According to a criminal complaint filed Monday against Annie George, 39, the servant entered the U.S. on a non immigrant visa in 1998 to work for the family of a United Nations employee. She began working for the Georges in late-2005 after being offered about $1000 per month, a substantial pay increase.

In reality, “V.M” received sporadic minimal payments from the Georges. A U.S. District Court complaint estimates that the servant received about $29,000 over the five-and-a-half years she worked for the family. A U.S. Department of Labor investigation determined that the woman was “lawfully entitled” to a minimum of “approximately $206,000 for the entire approximate six years of V.M.’s work.”

Annie George was named in the 7-page complaint, as her husband died in a plane crash in 2009.

On top of the low pay and long work days, V.M. told the authorities that she was not given health or dental benefits and never left the home until she was removed last year.

After her removal George reportedly spoke to V.M.’s son who was still in India, telling him to tell his mother to tell authorities that she was a member of the George family because saying anything about working would prove “a big crime” had occurred.

The son is said to have recorded the conversations.