The Justice Department today announced that former Stockton, California resident Satish Kartan, 46, was sentenced today to 188 months in prison for forced labor violations. In addition, U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. ordered $15,657 be paid in restitution to three victims, in part to cover their back wages and other losses.
On March 14, 2019, after an 11-day trial, a federal jury found Kartan and his wife, Sharmistha Barai, 40, guilty of conspiracy to obtain forced labor and two counts of obtaining forced labor. Kartan was also found guilty of one count of fraud in foreign labor contracting. On Oct. 2, Barai was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in prison for forced labor violations.
“The United States abolished slavery and involuntary servitude more than 150 years ago,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Yet, inhuman forced labor and deprivations of liberty and dignity persist because human traffickers proliferate modern-day slavery, and endeavor to exploit their fellow human beings for profit and other gruesome purposes. The sentence imposed today sends a stern message that human trafficking and forced labor will not be tolerated in the United States. The defendant’s role in this scheme to compel the victims into servitude for up to 18 hours a day, with minimal pay, through intimidation, threats, and violence, is an unconscionable and illegal criminal violation of the victims’ individual rights, freedom, and dignity. The Civil Rights Division remains committed to pursuing justice relentlessly on behalf of victims of human trafficking and prosecuting perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Kartan earned his sentence by the systematic abuse and exploitation of vulnerable women for the benefit of his wife and family,” said U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott for the Eastern District of California. “He verbally abused multiple victims, withheld basic sustenance from them, and physically intimidated them. Today’s sentence will send a loud message to others engaged in human trafficking and labor. Moreover, it will give Kartan’s victims the peace of mind that he will never be able to abuse them again.”
“Those engaged in the heinous crime of forced labor will face severe consequences for their actions,” said Matthew Perlman, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), San Francisco Field Office. “The Diplomatic Security Service and our partner agencies will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute those who commit visa fraud to exploit others for their own personal gain.”