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Convicted couple to lose their mansion

A jury has decided that the posh mansion of the couple convicted for slavery, should be forfeited as it was used for the crime.

india Updated: Dec 20, 2007 05:16 IST

A day after it convicted a multi-millionaire Indian American couple of "modern day slavery," a jury has unanimously decided that their posh mansion in a suburb should be forfeited to government as it was used to commit the crime.

US District Judge Arthur Spatt scheduled the sentencing for March 28 next year and will hold hearing to decide whether the bail of India-born Mahender Murlidhar Sabhnani, 51 and his Indonesian born wife Varsha Sabhnani should be revoked and that they be sent to a federal prison.

Each could get 20 years in prison. The defence lawyers said they plan to file an appeal perhaps as early as next month.

The Sabhnanis mansion in an upscale neighbourhood in Long Island covers an area of 5,888-square foot on less than a half-acre property; Newsday reported quoting official country records. It has seven bathrooms. Comparable homes in the area are ow selling for USD 1.6 million and USD 2.8 million, it said.

Currently, Sabhnanis are on bail and living in their mansion, which has been temporary, turned into prison and are paying almost USD 10,000 per day for security which keeps an eye on them to ensure that they do not escape.

The arrangement was agreed to after prosecutors said that they are flight risk as they might have funds outside the country.

After an eight-week trial, Sabhnanis were convicted of enslaving two Indonesian women they had hired as domestic help and torturing them.