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Servant kept prisoner in mansion, forced to sleep in closet for 6 years.

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George mansion upstate NY.
George mansion upstate NY. Rexford-NY.

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.”

Annie George at her husband's funeral in 2009.
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  • Charlie Scott

    There is another side to this story that the U.S. media doesn’t report. The maid’s claims are far from the truth. She approached Annie George’s family through a pastor for help and a place to stay after running away from the U.N. family who employed her. George’s family may agreed to have her stay with them as a “guest” and pay her for their toddler’s care. There were other maids including an American lady Nicole. In her words, VM only had to care for George’s youngest child while others cooked and cleaned. Nicole says VM had a comfortable life and spent almost the whole day watching TV and on the phone with her family and hardly did any work. VM went out for daily walks and could’ve easily gotten help. Annie’s friend Sophia from India who visited Annie, observed that VM slept on a king bed. Why would they have VM sleep in a closet when they had so many rooms? Why wouldn’t they hire anyone legally and pay the same for childcare? The only crime here is that they hired an illegal worker and may have paid below min wage. But we all know that it’s a common practice. Moreover, Annie could’ve assumed she has a visa considering she worked for a U.N. family. To accuse Annie of slavery and subject her to name calling and harsh criticism is unfortunate, especially after helping VM with a place to stay and a way to earn.

  • Guest

    hey charlie & sophie,you guys are lieing throug your teeth.god will punish you too for lieng about about valsamma and supporting this criminal

  • guest

    annie is fucked up! how long she can trick the goverment and the people? she is done,God helped valsamma sister .annie should be in jail for years.

  • guest

    who the hell are you to say,that annie is innocent,she is sucha a criminal.you dont know her.she is real devil,she is going to get punish more and more.i know annie’s sister suja,she is a good women.annie is crazy blood sucking devil.

  • Charlie Scott

    unfortunately you dont know the truth..
    V.M’s real name i Valsamma Mathai (V.M.) got paid well and she built a new house in Mumbai, which paid by Annie George. V.M’ two sons live there.. and they have no income. how did they built that house with no other income? because the cash payments there is no evidence. V.M. worked 18 hours a day? without bath room breaks, eat food, take shower, changing cloths? The reality is she enjoyed live there without paying rent, water, electricity food etc.. as a family member. Annie George has a full time cook an American cook, Nicole, and other cleaning staffs there.. its too bad these type of scandals happening in usa because some people are wealthy..

    shame on news media not reporting the truth..

    However, according to Sophie, “Valsamma recently got mad at Annie’s youngest kid and slapped the child’s hand. Another servant in the house, an American lady, on hearing, this told Valsamma that she was not supposed to beat kids, and threatened to call police.

    Valsamma got really scared and called her son in India. Later they complained against Annie to the Federal authorities. There is a law in the US which says that if an illegal immigrant is abused, the whole family would get the green card,” Sophia said in an exclusive phone-in interview with The Times of India.

    “When I visited Annie two years back, there were three servants in the house – two Malayalis and an American lady. These Malayali ladies were so laidback that I even told Annie that they were so lucky and were like free birds. These servants were happy and had full freedom in Annie’s mansion. During my visit, I even saw Valsamma sleeping on the king-size bed. This was two years back, and I believe things haven’t changed drastically after that,” Sophia recounted.

    “As the kids grew up and started going to school, Annie didn’t need the lady anymore. The kids preferred the food prepared by the American servant. Annie, however, kept Valsamma for one more year. ,” she said.

    Sophia also revealed that Annie used to pay salary by cheque as well as cash. Only $25,000 was paid by cheque.

    “Valsamma used to send the money home through Western Union Money Transfer, and the records of money transactions would prove that she was paid more than what she had been claiming that she got from Annie,” Sophie said.

  • Lisa

    AND..if she was SO INNOCENT….WHY are there formal charges brought up against her??? Do your LAW/CRIMINAL research , before shooting off at the mouth.

  • Lisa

    So THAT makes it ok???? Ur sick too….You would think that you would have compassion and feel absolute sickness for what this servant went through for 17 YEARS!!!! I don’t care WHERE you are from and what the situation is THERE. This woman come to America….the supposed LAND OF THE FREE. YOU CALL THAT FREE???? Slavery was abolished years ago AMIT9656…Do your History Homework…Can you truly imagine what this servant went through for that many years?? You people are sick to try and JUSTIFY anything negative against this servant. THE PUNISHMENT SHOULD FIT THE CRIME…LET THEM LOCK ANNIE UP FOR 17 YEARS IN A FREAKING CLOSET AND SEE HOW HER LIFE WOULD BE AFFECTED AFTERWARDS. MY hears aches for this poor woman!!!!!

  • Lisa

    You are one fucked up individual Sunil_70in…How would YOU like to have been treated that way?????? Sick human being in my book..YOU AND THE LANDOWNER!!!!

  • Sunil_70in

    Dont throw stones on her (Ms. Annie) she is innocent,

  • 6of7

    Thanks. Just trying to understand why people would do something like this. Articles showing up on other sites give the husband’s name and he apparently owned hotels and a “hospitality” management company. Died in his own plane with his son. Brother is an Indian actor. Makes no sense. Have to defer to Voltaire. (“The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.”)

  • 6of7

    What a world. Thanks for the insight.

  • Amit9656

    Good that it happens in USA. If this was happens in India she would have to work for 22 hours, 7 days a week with sexual abuse for many decades. 99.9% rich indians make money from abusing the poor. They get a some kind of a plessure by abusing these poor people.

  • Zdilse

    he was a real estate tycoon

  • Anonymous

    mmm

  • Anonymous

    How did the slave owner and her deceased husband make their money?