Millionaire socialite goes on trial for keeping immigrant ‘slave’ in New York mansion

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 14:55 EDT
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New York socialite Annie George heads to court. Photo: Screenshot via CBS 6 Albany.
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Millionaire socialite Annie George, 40, went on trial Tuesday for allegedly keeping an undocumented immigrant as a “slave” in her upstate New York mansion.

According to CBS 6 in Albany, Valsamma Mathai, 49, testified Tuesday that she was held in the 30,000 square foot, 26-bedroom Llenroc Mansion in Rexford, New York for six and a half years as she worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and slept in a walk-in closet.

Mathai, an undocumented immigrant from India, said she was picked up at a New York bus station by George’s late husband Mathai Kolath George, who spoke her native tongue and offered a job that would pay $1,000 per month — a significant raise over the $100 per month she was making.

When she arrived, however, Mathai claims she did not have her passport or visa, and soon discovered she wasn’t allowed to leave.

It wasn’t until the National Human Trafficking Resource Center received a tip from the woman’s son, who prosecutors said recorded a conversation with George, that agents came to her rescue. A criminal complaint was filed last March.

George is facing a charge of harboring an undocumented immigrant, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

This video is from CBS 6 in Albany, aired Tuesday, March 5, 2013.


Photo: Screenshot via CBS 6 Albany.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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