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Diplomat Fined for Failing to Properly Pay Housekeeper

NEWARK, NJ—The Republic of Mauritius’ ambassador to the United States was fined $5,000 today for failing to properly pay a domestic worker minimum hourly and overtime wages, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Somduth Soborun, 61, formerly of Englewood, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz on September 7, 2012, to an information charging him with one count of failing to pay the minimum wage rate. Judge Shwartz imposed the fine today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements in court:

Soborun obtained a visa for a Filipina national, C.V., to come to the United States to work as a housekeeper. From late December 2008 through early August 2009, C.V. worked in the Soborun household by cleaning, doing laundry, ironing, and taking care of the family dog, usually for 12 hours per day, six days per week. Although Soborun signed a contract that provided for an hourly wage as well as for overtime pay for any hours exceeding 40 per week, Soborun only paid C.V. $1,000 per month, regardless of how many hours she worked each month.

As part of his guilty plea, Soborun agreed to make full restitution to C.V. in the amount of $24,153.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for the investigation leading to today’s fine.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana W. Chen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division, in Newark

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