An Indian-American couple has been indicted on human trafficking charges related to forced labour of foreign nationals primarily from India, authorities have said.
A federal grand jury charged Satish Kartan, 43, and his wife Sharmistha Barai, 38, with conspiracy to commit forced labour and the commission of forced labour.
Mr Kartan has also been charged with fraud in contacting foreign labour and Ms Barai with benefiting from forced labour, the Department of Justice said on Thursday.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The couple from California were arrested on 21 October, on a criminal complaint and were released on bond with special conditions that prohibit them from hiring any non-relatives to perform domestic services or child care work for them. The arraignment is scheduled for 21 November.
According to court documents, between 21 February, 2014, and 3 October, 2016, Mr Kartan and Ms Barai hired workers from overseas to perform domestic labour in their homes in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Stockton and elsewhere in the US.