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CASE NAME:United States v. Varsha Mahender Sabhnani
ALL PLAINTIFFS:United States
ALL DEFENDANTS:Varsha Mahender Sabhnani, Mahender Murlidhar Sabhnani
CITATION:
DOCKET NUMBER:07-CR-00429
SOURCE:Lexis Search, PACER (docket search)
TYPE OF CASE:Criminal
RELATED CASE CITATION:
TYPE OF TRIAL:Jury
TRIAL JUDGE(S):Hon. Arthur D. Spatt
YEAR OF ARREST:2007
YEAR OF VERDICT:2007
TYPE OF COURT:Federal
STATE:New York
FEDERAL DISTRICT:Eastern District Court
STATE COUNTY:
AGE OF VICTIM(S):Adult
NUMBER OF VICTIMS:2 +
GENDER OF VICTIM(S):Female
VICTIM'S COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:Indonesia
METHOD OF ENTRY INTO THE U.S.:B-1/B-2 visa
WAS VICTIM CHARGED WITH A CRIME:No
NUMBER OF DEFENDANT(S):2
GENDER OF DEFENDANT(S):Female and Male
TYPE OF INDUSTRY:Labor
CASE CATEGORIZATION:Domestic Servant
FIRST CHARGE:Conspiracy to commit forced labor
FIRST CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. 371
FIRST CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty
FIRST CHARGE SENTENCE:60 months
SECOND CHARGE:Forced labor
SECOND CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. 1589(a)
SECOND CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Verdict
SECOND CHARGE SENTENCE:132 months
THIRD CHARGE:Attempted forced labor
THIRD CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. 1594(a) and (2)
THIRD CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Acquitted
THIRD CHARGE SENTENCE:132 months
FOURTH CHARGE:Conspiracy to harbor aliens
FOURTH CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(v)(I)
FOURTH CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Verdict
FOURTH CHARGE SENTENCE:132 months
FIFTH CHARGE:Conspiracy to commit peonage
FIFTH CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 1581 and 1595(a) and (2)
FIFTH CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Verdict
FIFTH CHARGE SENTENCE:
CORE TERMS:Also found guilty of document servitude (18 U.S.C. 1592, 1594(a) and 2).
SENTENCING OPINION CITATION:United States v. Sabhnani, 599 F.3d 215 (2d Cir. 2011); 539 F.Supp. 2d 617, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22593 (E.D.N.Y.,2008)
LENGTH OF GREATEST SENTENCE:Varsha Sabhnani: 132 months; Mahender Sabhnani: 40 months
RESTITUTION REQUIRED:$936,546.22
FINE IMPOSED:Mahender Sabhnani: $12,500 fine; $1,200 special assessment <br>Varsha Sabhnani: $25,000 fine; $1,200 special assessment
FORFEITURE IMPOSED:Ownership in home.
FIRST CLAIM:
FIRST CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:
FIRST CLAIM RESULT:
DAMAGES AWARDED FOR FIRST CLAIM:
SECOND CLAIM:
SECOND CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:
SECOND CLAIM RESULT:
DAMAGES AWARDED FOR SECOND CLAIM:
THIRD CLAIM:
THIRD CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:
THIRD CLAIM RESULT:
DAMAGES AWARDED FOR THIRD CLAIM:
FOURTH CLAIM:
FOURTH CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:
FOURTH CLAIM RESULT:
DAMAGES AWARDED FOR FOURTH CLAIM:
FIFTH CLAIM:
FIFTH CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:
FIFTH CLAIM RESULT:
DAMAGES AWARDED FOR FIFTH CLAIM:
SIXTH CLAIM:
SIXTH CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:
SIXTH CLAIM RESULT:
DAMAGES AWARDED FOR SIXTH CLAIM:
TOTAL AWARD:
APPEAL:Yes
EXPLANATION OF APPEAL:Appealed Sentence
APPELLATE OPINION CITATION:599 F.3d 215 (2d Cir. 2010)
HOLDING OF APPEALS COURT:Afffirm in Part and Vacate in Part
APPEAL STILL PENDING?:No
SUMMARY:The victims, two women from Indonesia, traveled to the United States to work as domestic servants in Defendants’ home. The first victim arrived in 2002, the second in 2005. Once the victims arrived in the United States, the defendants confiscated their passports and other identity documents. The victims were then made to work long days with little food. The defendants provided the victims’ families in Indonesia with $100 per month, but the victims did not receive any direct compensation from the Defendants. The victims also testified that they were subjected to physical and psychological abuse by defendant Varsha Sabhnani; including beatings, including the defendant pouring scalding water on one victim's arm and threatening to send embarrassing letters to her family in Indonesia. A federal jury convicted defendants of forced labor, illegally harboring aliens, holding a person in a condition of peonage, and document servitude. Defendants appealed and restitution was modified on remand (although the appellate court upheld the convictions on all other grounds).
Approval Status:Approved
Approver Comments:
            
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