BOSTON -- A Harvard couple has been sentenced to one year's probation and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution after admitting to underpaying their nanny of more than 13 years.
Richard and Martha Smalanskas, parents of three children in town, originally hired a 16-year-old nanny to take care of their children in Bolivia, according to a press release from the U.S. District Attorney's office. Three years later, they brought her to the U.S. using false documents that were arranged to look as though she was a relative.
The nanny, whose name is not being released, was told she could earn up to $150 per month, according to the release. But the Smalanskases only paid her $2,500 for a period of more than 13 years.
In January, the couple plead guilty to violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, as they had been paying the nanny less than minimum wage.
The 2012 indictment against the couple claimed that they took the nanny's passport from her to prevent her from leaving the country. The complaint also alleges that they told the nanny "not to talk to other parents or nannies when she was out with the children."
The family kept the nanny isolated by refusing to teach her how to drive, requiring her to ask permission before leaving the house and refusing to allow her to learn English, according to the indictment.
These complaints were all part of a criminal conspiracy charge that was later dropped, along with the charge of harboring an illegal alien.
Martha Smalanskas also faces 250 hours of community service, Diorio-Sterling said. The nanny, whose name is not being released to the public, has interim legal status. She lived with the Smalanskas from December 1997 to May 2011.
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