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Long IslandCrime

'Slave couple' lose appeal, will have to pay more

A federal appeals court has upheld the forced-labor convictions of a Long Island couple sentenced to prison for enslaving two Indonesian housekeepers.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan rejected arguments by attorneys for Mahender and Varsha Sabhnani that sought to overturn their conviction.

It also ordered a recalculation of restitution so that the Indonesian women can receive more money.

Varsha Sabhnani’s lawyer had argued that prejudicial publicity prevented a fair trial. Her husband’s lawyer argued that he did not actively take part in hurting the women.

Varsha Sabhnani is serving a 13-year prison sentence. Her husband, who has been free on bail, was ordered to begin serving his three-year sentence next week.

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