KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
January 6, 2018
by Katrina Katsarelis
Canyon Gate couple will also spend seven months in jail for human trafficking and falsifying government document
A Cinco Ranch couple who forced a Nigerian woman to work nearly 20 hours a day taking care of their home and five children without pay for two years was ordered Friday to pay her more than $121,000 in restitution. Chudy Nsobundu, 57, and his wife Sandra Nsobundu, 49, also were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas to seven months in jail and seven months of home confinement, plus three years' probation.
Harsh working conditions without pay
According to court documents, the nanny was expected to work every day from 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., and was not permitted to take breaks. She claimed she was only allowed to eat leftovers and was only allowed to drink milk that was leftover from the children's cereal bowls. She was not allowed to take hot showers or leave the residence except to walk the children around the block a maximum of twice a day. Court documents also state the couple consistently yelled at, scolded and berated the victim for moving too slowly or failing to care for the children in the manner they wanted. The Nsobundus regularly threatened to send the nanny back to Nigeria if she did not comply with their labor demands. The couple prevented the nanny from leaving their home by taking away her passport and threatening her with physical and mental harm.
The Nsolodus, who are naturalized U.S. citizens originally from Nigeria, recruited the woman there with the promise of a $100 monthly wage which was never paid during the time she worked for them in their Canyon Gate home from September 2013 to October 2015. “The defendants knowingly caused a false visa application for the victim to be submitted to the Department of State with numerous pieces of false information, said the statement from federal prosecutors.
Falsifying legal documents and misrepresentations
To help get the nanny into the country, the Nsobundu's also made false claims on government documents. The false claims included the woman’s incorrect date of birth, (identifying her as 20 years older than she was), and that she was married when in fact she was not. The documents also stated the nanny was traveling to the US to attend her niece’s graduation and a written letter falsely stating that Chudy Nsobundu was her brother.
Chudy Nsobundu was convicted of knowingly making multiple material misrepresentations under oath on the visa application to increase the chances of the nanny's visa being accepted and to hide the fact that she would be working for the Nsobundu family as a housemaid and nanny under conditions not in compliance with U.S. labor laws. Prosecutors said he submitted the application under oath, knowing the application contained these material misrepresentations.
In September 2013, Sandra Nsobundu took the woman to the U.S. Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, to obtain her visa. Sandra Nsobundu gave her a letter to provide to the consular officials which indicated she did not speak English well and that she would be traveling to the U.S. for her niece’s graduation. Sandra Nsobundu gave the woman a picture of Chudy Nsobundu and the family and told her to tell the officials that he was her brother. The nanny is not a relative of Chudy Nsobundu and is not married. The spouse listed on her visa application is the Nsobundus’ driver in Nigeria.
The nanny reached out for help and was rescued following a tip to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Her name has not been released.