Kerala Woman to Lose Mansion in New York for Keeping Illegal Immigrant

Published: 05th March 2015 09:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th March 2015 09:17 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW YORK: An Indian-American widow will have to forfeit her 34-room mansion in New York state after she lost her appeal to overturn a 2013 conviciton for

harbouring an illegal immigrant from Kerala for over five years and subjecting her to slave-like conditions.

Annie George, who hailed from Kerala, had challenged a lower court's order she give up her opulent crib in Rexford, arguing that the jury had not been properly instructed on the legal definition of "harboring" Valsamma Mathai, also from Kerala, as a live-in maid starting in 2005.

She also said forfeiture of the home, named Llenroc, was too harsh of a punishment. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, however, disagreed.

A three-judge panel on the Second Circuit of the US Court of Appeals pronounced its verdict yesterday that the trial court judge was correct to rule that George must forfeit the mansion to the federal government.

"The forfeiture of George's equity interest in her home, when considered in light of the gravity of her crime of conviction, does not demonstrate gross disproportionality," Appeals Judge Reena Raggi wrote last week.

Authorities said George worked the woman non-stop.

George was convicted in March 2013 of harboring Mathai from 2005 to 2011 in several homes. She was in the country illegally. At trial, prosecutors presented evidence Mathai worked 17-hour days with no time off or sick leave and slept in a closet at Llenroc.

Mathai cared for George's five kids and took care of the house from generally 5:30 am to 11:30 pm seven days a week with no time off, according to documents.

George never paid Mathai her promised USD 1,000 per month wage over five years. Instead, Matha received around USD 26,000 total, court papers charge. Mathai said she slept in a closet and was forbidden from leaving the 20,000-square-foot mansion overlooking the Mohawk River.

George, whose husband died in a plane crash, had said she did not know Mathai was in the United States illegally.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp