A Walnut Creek real estate agent and mother of three faces up to 40 years in prison after being charged with five counts alleging that she smuggled a Peruvian woman into the United States and forced her to work in slave-like conditions, taking care of her kids and doing her housework.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced today that a federal grand jury had returned a five-count indictment against Mabelle de la Rosa Dann, 45. The charges include forced labor, unlawful conduct regarding documents in furtherance of servitude, visa fraud, conspiracy to commit visa fraud and harboring an illegal alien for private financial gain.
Back in November, I described an affidavit filed by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement that says that Dann held a 30-year-old woman in virtual captivity with threats of deportation and criminal accusation if she fled her Walnut Creek apartment.
The nanny came to the United States in 2006. Dann worked with an acquaintance and a woman she hired to navigate the U.S. visa process to get the nanny a B-1 visitor visa. Once in the country, the nanny didn't get her own bedroom and bath in a large house. Instead she had to settle for a living room sofa, and later the living-room floor of a 900-square-foot apartment, where she was made to work most of the day caring for Dann's three children and doing all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry.
Dann is due back in court February 18.