A woman in the Albany area is losing a mansion named “Llenroc” — Cornell spelled backwards — after she was charged with keeping an illegal immigrant as a “virtual slave” for several years, according to a report out today on Syracuse.com.

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Annie George was convicted in 2013 of harboring an illegal immigrant for more than five years, according the Albany Times Union.

Prosecutors said George made victim Valsamma Mathai work 17-hour days — with no time off or sick leave — and “sleep in a closet at Llenroc,” according to the Times Union.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that George had to turn over the “Llenroc” mansion, which is valued at $32.5 million, according to The American Bazaar.

The Times Union also reported:

In sentencing George, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe made it clear the home detention is a direct result of the defendant displaying “no respect for the truth whatsoever” when she testified in her own defense during her March trial in Albany. George told jurors she never knew that Valsamma Mathai, 49, the live-in servant she was later convicted of illegally harboring, was in the country illegally. But the judge said he believed George lied in her testimony when confronted with her own voice on incriminating phone conversations that were recorded.

“You tried to hoodwink that jury!” Sharpe told George, who was beside her attorney, Mark Sacco. “The system of justice does not work when people want to lie and hoodwink juries.”

Annie George was married to Mathai Kolath George, a Bollywood star and Indian businessman who died in a 2009 plane crash.

Annie George has said it was her husband’s decision to employ the illegal immigrant, according to The American Bazaar, an online news source for Indian-American news.

The mansion — in Rexford, NY — was built by the late Cornell graduate and insurance magnate Al Lawrence. (Lawrence decided to name the mansion Llenroc, or Cornell spelled backwards.) “To Lawrence, the house was a monument to his financial success and to his alma mater,” the Times Union said.

LuxuryRealEstate.com says that the mansion was “crafted from over 1,200 tons of Ithaca’s “Llenroc Stone … the same material used to construct the Llenroc dormitory at Cornell University.”

“This elegant home has a first floor master suite with his and her bathrooms, 15 fireplaces, $3.5 million worth of imported Scandanavian marble flooring, hundreds of unique hand-painted Portuguese tiles, a formal dining room featuring 24 karat gold guilded ceilings and moldings, walnut design inlaid hardwood floors, miles of mahogany moldings, a five-floor glass elevator, four galleries, and a servant’s kitchen with its own elevator,” the website states.

(A Cornell spokesperson said Monday that it didn’t appear that Annie George is connected to the university but said that she could have had a different maiden name while a student here.)

You can read the full Albany Times Union account of the recent ruling here.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.