Via the smoking gun comes a story that defies wonder as to how such things could still possibly be happening literally on our doorstep and as to how or why the servant, an illegal alien, simply known as ‘V.M’ from India put up with the mistreatment she was subjected to. Most importantly though it raises the idea how a presumed upstanding couple from society could behave and believe that they could get away with their actions…
the smoking gun : A New York woman who lives in a 34-room, 30,000-square-foot mansion is facing a federal criminal charge related to her employment of an illegal alien who allegedly served as a domestic servant in a “forced labor situation” that included her working 17-hour days, seven days a week, and sleeping in a walk-in closet.
17 hours, seven days a week and sleeping in a closet? Is that possible? What could have made anyone subjected to that torment keep up with the charade? Was the fear of potential deportation so great the illegal alien refused to go to the authorities? Was life back in India, that much more onerous that they wouldn’t rather risk being deported for the sanctity of home? Or was it a situation that the masters physically kept their servant literally locked up in the house which was sequestred deep in the countryside? Or worse did the servant think that this was what life and freedom in America ultimately amounted to?
Acting on a tip received by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, federal immigration agents last year removed the servant from the 12-acre estate (pictured below) on the Mohawk River in Rexford, a hamlet 20 miles north of Albany.
The woman who barely spoke English was assigned the duties of cleaning the sprawling mansion and caring for the couple’s 5 children (did the children not think the arrangement strange with the servant living the way she did or had the servant perversely become close to the children as is sometimes the case when one engenders an affinity towards ones captors?), the father having died in a plane crash in 2009.
It is said that the servant who also happens to originate from the same district of India as her captors (perhaps this in part explains the reluctance to flee?) had induced the servant to overstay her visa in 2005 in promise of higher pay, but in fact according to calculations after 67 months of labor and virtual imprisonment the servant’s salary worked out to roughly 85 cents an hour.
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.”
But it gets better…
The servant told federal agents that she received no personal or sick time while employed by the Georges, nor was she afforded any dental or medical treatment. She had to sleep in a closet in a bedroom shared by the family’s three daughters, the complaint alleges, because “Annie George required that V.M. be near the children at night.”
Fearing persecution Annie George at one stage had the servant call India where she attempted to have the servant’s son convince his mother if ever asked that she should never reveal she was a worker at the house but rather a ‘house guest.’ The numerous conversations were all taped by the son.
The property itself is said to have had a helicopter pad, an indoor swimming pool, 15 fireplaces, Scandinavian marble flooring, a four-story solarium, 24-karat gold gilded ceilings, a glass elevator, and an array of other features. Before his death, George’s husband listed the residence for sale at $30 million.
At present Annie George is charged with encouraging and inducing an illegal alien to reside in the U.S. and has in the interim been released without bond.
During proceedings Annie George’s lawyer, Donald Kinsella offered the following statement: “We just dispute what’s alleged in the complaint. There’s several exaggerations, gross errors.”