That's true, Scott. I don't keep slaves.
Annie George, 39, of Rexford, is accused of inducing a woman from India to reside in the country and confining her at the mansion for nearly three years, a federal criminal complaint alleges.
The woman — identified only as "V.M." — worked from dawn to late in the evening seven days a week, cooking and cleaning and caring for George's six children, the complaint said. She is entitled to more than $200,000, but was paid far less and was forced to live in a closet, authorities said.
Annie George is the widow of Mathai Kolath George, who immigrated from Kerala, India in 1967 and became a successful real estate management entrepreneur. So successful, in fact, that he and his wife were able to afford to live and raise their children in a lavish upstate mansion, described as "34-room, 30,000-square-foot home, known as Llenroc mansion, which houses a helicopter pad, 15 fireplaces, marble flooring, 24-karat gold gilded ceilings and a glass elevator."
Not sufficiently successful, apparently, to pay the help. The Georges recruited "V.M." from Mathai's home state of Kerala, with the promise of $1,000 a month to care for their four children and maintain the house.
Far from the promised princely (sub-minimum) wage, "V.M." received a total of $29,000 in compensation over six years, which would average out to 85 cents an hour, had she worked 40-hour weeks, a doubtful premise for a servant forced to live in a closet.
If the picture painted of Ms. George seems unduly harsh, making the reader wonder if there were extenuating circumstances that might ameliorate her image as a slave mistress, the Gun offers a fuller picture with this detail:
George spoke three times with the woman’s son in India. During one telephone call, George suggested that the “son tell his mother to tell authorities that she was a relative of George’s family and was only staying at George’s house as a guest.”
During the conversation, which the son recorded, George warned, “if she says anything about working, it would become a big crime. They’ll start adding up all the taxes and everything, for all the time.”
In the interest of full disclosure, I confess I added the bolding.