Updated 03/08/2013 07:47 PM
George guilty of harboring an illegal alien, facing five years in prison
A woman is found guilty of harboring an illegal alien for six years. Annie George faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and the risk of losing her home. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has more on this story.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Annie George leaves the federal courthouse on Friday, offering no comment to the media. She was found guilty of harboring an illegal alien; but, not on the charge that she did so for personal gain.
"We're disappointed. We believe she was innocent," said defense attorney, Mark Sacco.
George was accused of keeping Valsamma Matthai in Llenroc mansion from 2005 to 2011.
The prosecutor said George knew about Matthai's illegal status, but kept her for help with household chores, including raising five children. The prosecution said throughout that time Matthai received a little over $20,000 as a subsidy. The defense said while it wasn't a complete victory, they're pleased George was cleared on the one charge.
"They clearly found that Annie did not benefit in any way from this. I think in a way Annie feels vindicated," said Sacco.
George, a widow, was portrayed by the defense as a woman who had no input when her late husband made the decision to take Matthai into their home. On the stand, George said she treated Matthai like a friend. She said, "I tried to meet her needs in every way I can. She never once told me she was illegal."
"The jury had in my mind two things to consider, and that was did Annie know or was Annie in reckless disregard? Reckless disregard is a much lower standard, which means basically, should you have known? And, it seems to me, that they concluded Annie should have known even when she didn't know," said Sacco.