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2nd Circuit Court

Home Detention Tab: $15 K a Day

Posted Jul 10, 2007 12:05 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A wealthy Muttontown, N.Y., couple accused of enslaving two housekeepers should be released to home detention pending their trial, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Varha and Mahender Sabhnani have agreed to pay for a private security force to ensure they will not flee, Newsday reports. They also will pick up the tab for an accountant to review their own finances and that of their perfume business. The cost of detention in their Long Island home could be as high as $15,000 a day.

Federal prosecutors have questioned wire transfers of more than $17 million by the perfume business to banks in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, according to the New York Daily News.

The couple is accused of beating and burning the two workers over a five-year period, paying no wages except for about $100 a month transmitted to their relatives in Indonesia.

The trial judge may not deny bail because the government has identified conditions for the couple’s release, and the couple will accept them, according to the opinion by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court remanded the case to the trial judge to finalize the conditions.

The opinion is United States v. Sabhnani, No. 07-2567-cr.

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