A Texas husband and wife were sentenced to seven months in prison and ordered to pay over $120,000 to their nanny for forcing her to work without compensation for two years, a judge ruled.
Chudy Nsobundu, 57, and his wife, Sandra, 49, were also sentenced to seven months of house arrest and three years’ probation for their treatment of a Nigerian woman, the Associated Press reports.
The unidentified victim said that the naturalized U.S. citizens — also from Nigeria — recruited her from her native country and agreed to pay her $100 a month to take care of their home and five children, according to a 2016 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. The 38-year-old woman said that she was physically and verbally abused while she worked for them from September 2013 to October 2015.
Nsobundu pleaded guilty in 2016 for visa fraud and his wife pleaded guilty to unlawful conduct with respect to documents in furtherance of forced labor. Court documents said that the nanny worked from 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily, without breaks or hot showers, eating the family’s leftovers, including the milk left behind in the children’s cereal bowls.
The nanny was unable to escape the Nsobundus because they held her passport and threatened her with physical abuse, authorities said. She eventually reached out to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center for help, the press release said.
The couple knowingly falsified the nanny’s visa application that was submitted to the Department of State, listing her age as 20 years older than she was, her reason for travelling as a niece’s graduation, calling Chudy Nsobundu her brother and claiming she was married when she was not.