CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. – A federal judge has awarded almost $1 million in back wages to two Indonesian housekeepers who were virtually enslaved by a wealthy Long Island couple.
Judge Arthur Spatt said Friday the maids were entitled to double their unpaid wages because they were abused while working around the clock for Varsha and Mahender Sabhnani.
The victims have testified that they were beaten, slashed with knives and compelled to take freezing showers for such misdeeds as sleeping late in what prosecutors had said amounted to a "modern-day slavery" case.
The judge awarded the housekeepers a total of more than $936,000 — at least $700,000 more than the Sabhnanis' lawyers considered reasonable.
The Muttowntown couple was convicted in December of charges including forced labor. Varsha Sabhnani has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, her husband to 3 years and 4 months.