NEW DELHI: US court sentenced an Indian-American couple to prison for forcing their cousin to work at their gas station and convenience store for more than three years. The accused Harmanpreet Singh received a sentence of 135 months or 11.25 years, while his wife Kulbir Kaur was sentenced to 87 months or 7.25 years.
The court also ordered them to pay the victim, Singh’s cousin, $225,210.76 (approximately Rs 1.87 crores) in restitution.The couple, who have since divorced, lured the victim to the United States under false pretenses of helping him get enrolled in school.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said, “The defendants exploited their relationship with the victim to lure him to the United States with false promises that they would help enrol him in school.”
“The defendants confiscated the victim’s immigration documents and subjected him to threats, physical force and mental abuse to coerce him to work long hours for minimal pay,” she said.
“This sentence should send a strong message that such forced labour will not be tolerated in our communities,” she added.
(With inputs from agencies)