- Associated Press - Thursday, November 17, 2016

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a couple has been charged with bringing people to the United States from India and forcing them to do domestic work for 18 hours a day without pay in their houses in California and New Mexico.

The U.S. attorney’s office said that 38-year-old Sharmistha Barai of Stockton and her 43-year-old husband Satish Kartan could get up to 20 years apiece in prison.

Their five-count indictment says that that from 2014 until earlier this year, the couple targeted workers from India, putting ads promising wages on the internet and in newspapers there. It says once they arrived, Barai and Kartan put them to work at their homes in Stockton, California, Albuquerque, New Mexico and elsewhere in the U.S.

Authorities say they used physical restraint and threats to force their victims to work 18 hours a day with no pay and little food.


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