HOUSTON, Texas — A federal judge ordered a couple from Katy, Texas, to pay more than $120,000 in restitution to a woman they held as a domestic slave for more than two years. The couple will also serve a 14-month sentence that will be split between prison and home confinement.
Sandra Ncobundu pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to unlawful conduct with respect to documents in furtherance of forced labor, CoveringKaty.com reported. Her husband, Chudy Nsobundu, pleaded guilty to visa fraud.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas ordered the couple to pay $121,035.04 in restitution to the domestic slavery victim. The judge’s sentence also includes a sentence of 14 months in confinement. Seven months will be spent in a prison while the remaining months will be served in home confinement. The judge ordered the couple to pay a fine of $5,000 in accordance with the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. A three-year supervised release follows the completion of the couple’s confinement.
Police arrested Chudy and Sandra Nsobundu, 57 and 49, nearly two years ago, Breitbart Texas reported. Prosecutors charged the couple with forced labor, withholding documents, conspiracy to harbor an illegal alien and visa fraud. The victim in the case is a 38-year-old woman from Nigeria, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Houston obtained by Breitbart Texas.
The couple subjected the victim to physical and verbal abuse while in their employment. They regularly referred to her as “the idiot” and would allegedly hit her and drag her by the hair, officials stated.
She was worked illegally in their home as a domestic servant. She was forced to work from 5:30 a.m. until well past midnight, the criminal complaint revealed. Her duties were said to have included: cleaning the house, making meals, and caring for five children in the home.
Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas stated the couple forced the woman to live in “horrible conditions.According to the affidavit, she was not allowed to eat fresh food, but instead, she had to eat leftovers from previously prepared meals. If she wanted milk in her tea, she was forced to strain the milk from the cereal bowls of the children’s breakfast.
The couple forced the victim to work for them in their home for two years with no pay. They originally promised to pay her only $100 per month, records stated.
The case came to light after the National Human Trafficking Resource Center received a tip.
The sentencing comes during the month President Donald Trump designated as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.