Latest News

Woman must forfeit 34-room mansion for enslaving an undocumented worker

By Mason White 12:04 PM April 19, 2015
Mansion illustration 

By: Tanya Malhotra
(Scroll down for video) A woman lost her appeal in court and must now forfeit her mansion.

The widow of a wealthy hotelier was found guilty of harboring an illegal immigrant for more than five years.

A court ordered the woman to forfeit her mansion with 34 rooms in New York, to the federal government because it housed an undocumented immigrant.

40-year-old Annie George challenged the order of a lower court to give up her home in Rexford. She claimed that loss of the house, called Llenroc, was a harsh punishment.

However, the judges of the Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed.

“When considering the gravity of her crime of which she was convicted, it does not demonstrate gross disproportionately,” Appeals Judge Reena Raggi wrote.

Authorities said the woman worked nonstop.

George, whose husband Krishnan Raghavan, 52, and son George Kolath, 11, died in a plane crash, hired Valsamma Mathai, 49, from India, to care for her 5 children.

Mathai was rescued by police after they were notified that the woman was being treated as a slave. She was forced to work from, 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., seven days a week with no time off, according to the court documents.

George did not pay Mathai her monthly salary over five years. Matha received only about $26,000 rather than the $317,000 she was owed.

Mathai said that she slept in a closet and was forbidden to leave the 30,000 square foot mansion overlooking the Mohawk River.

George claimed that she did not know Mathai was in the United States illegally.

Forfeiture is allowed by law in this case because she was convicted of harboring an illegal immigrant inside the mansion.