Sandra and Chudy Nsobundu risk spending 60 years in an American prison and paying $1 million fine if found guilty.
The couple were arrested after their 38 year old nanny filed a forced labour complaint against them.
Apparently, the unnamed nanny joined the family in Katy, Texas all the way from Lagos in 2013 after Mrs Sandra Nsobundu contacted her in 2012.
She signed a contract as part of the requirements for the $100 a month job she had accepted. Her travel documents although fraudulent, were funded by the Nsobundus.
Her hopes were dashed as she was met with maltreatment especially from 50 year old Sandra Nsobundu.
The victim reported in the complaint to have been beaten with slippers and dragged by her hair because she wore ill fitting socks for the youngest child around the Easter period of 2015.
Speaking with the U.S Immigrations and Customs department, she explained how she had to work daily without any form of rest between 5:30am and 1am.
Her meals were only leftovers and she still had to drain leftover milk from the children’s cereal bowls for tea.
Sandra Nsobundu also went as far as threatening to shoot their maid for not caring for her five children as expected.
The maid could only endure so much including sleeping on the floor because the couple felt she was too smelly for a bed. Her phones were seized and this made communication with her family in Nigeria.
To add salt to injury, she called her Nigerian bank and discovered the non-payment of her salary for the 2 years she had worked for the family.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center was alerted of the woman’s condition in September, 2015 and she escaped a month after.
Assisted by a case manager from the YMCA International Trafficked Persons Assistance Program, she found refuge in a women’s shelter.
The Nsobundus were arrested on February 8 and are currently going through trial in court. You can read the entire complaint here.
Stories like this are not uncommon as Nigerian men and women have been lured overseas in the past with false promises of paid employment. Under fair circimstances, all labour should be paid for. Also, offering menial/domestic chores is not an excuse to maltreat others.