varsha sabhnani

Even though Varsha and Mahender Sabhnani, a wealthy Muttontown couple, were convicted of enslaving two Indonesian women, they should receive mercy because of their charity and kindness to others, defense attorneys argue in a court brief.
Varsha Sabhnani (sahb-NAH'-nee) was convicted with her husband in December of forced labor, conspiracy, involuntary servitude and harboring aliens. Her husband will be sentenced tomorrow.
Protesters included a diverse mix from Domestic Workers United, Damayan Migrant Workers Association and Andolan, which represents South Asian workers.

The protest was held outside the courthouse where Varsha Sabhnani was to be sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison for enslaving two Indonesian women in her Muttontown home.
The two women, Enung and Samirah, who use single names as is common in Indonesia, testified at the trial of Mahender and Varsha Sabhnani that they were forced to work 19-hour days, seven days a week, while being given so little food that they sometimes ate garbage. They also were forced to sleep on mats in a basement kitchen, they testified.

Federal prosecutors reached their figure by concluding the women deserved overtime pay for their work. Senior U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt will decide the issue this week while sentencing the Sabhnanis.
Varsha Sabhnani's defense attorney, Jeffery Hoffman, declined to comment yesterday, as did Mahender Sabhnani's attorney, Stephen Scaring, and prosecutors.
The women said they were tortured and beaten for sleeping late or stealing food from trash bins because they were poorly fed. Both women also said they were forced to sleep on mats in the kitchen. The maids' relatives in Indonesia were paid about $100 a month for their work, but the maids themselves were not paid.