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New York widow accused of violating law with ‘slave’ maid

March 2, 2012, 10:29 am
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 New York widow accused of violating law with ‘slave’ maid
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A wealthy upstate widow allegedly turned her multimillion-dollar mansion into a “forced labor” camp where her helpless immigrant maid worked 17-hour days for years while sleeping in a closet.
Annie George, whose real-estate mogul husband, Mathai, died in a 2009 plane crash, allegedly made the woman cook meals, clean the 30,000-square-foot estate and care for the family’s six children, according to a federal criminal complaint.
The maid — who has been identified in court papers only as “V.M.” — told officials she spent her nights sleeping on the floor of a closet in the children’s bedroom.
LOCKUP: Annie George allegedly kept an Indian-born maid captive and working 17-hour days cleaning and caring for children in this 34-room Saratoga County mansion until federal agents stepped in last year.
Annie George

The maid said she rarely left her employer’s mansion in Rexford, Saratoga County, which has 34 rooms, five bathrooms and 10 bedrooms and sits on a 12-acre property.
The servant, who is an illegal immigrant from India, told officials that she took the job in 2005 with the promise of a $1,000-a-week salary. In nearly six years, however, she was paid only $29,000, a criminal complaint said.
The woman speaks only in an Indian dialect that was understood by George, who also came from India.
Her labor allegedly continued without a personal or sick day from October 2005 until April 27, 2011, when federal Homeland Security agents went to George’s mansion and demanded she release the woman. George first tried to hide her in the basement, but eventually relented and handed her over.
George was released on her own recognizance Tuesday on charges of encouraging an illegal alien to live in the United States. Despite the maid’s working conditions, George has not been charged with slavery.
George’s lawyer, Donald Kinsella, would not comment on the charges, but told The Post: “The woman was not a servant, and she [George] wasn’t keeping her in the house or anything else.”


Author: Reynold Mason
Reynold N. Mason teaches law courses at Zenover Educational Institute In Atlanta, Georgia. He has been a judge on New York City Civil Court and, a Justice on New York State Supreme Court. Mason has been an adjunct professor of law at Medgar Evers College and Monroe College in New York. He has authored several legal opinions published in New York Miscellaneous Reports and New York Official Reports as well as the New York Law Journal. He lives in Atlanta.
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New York widow accused of violating law with ‘slave’ maid
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