$120K paid to woman in Cinco Ranch human trafficking case

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A case of modern-day slavery in Cinco Ranch.

A woman brought to the U.S. from Africa to take care of a couple's children allegedly didn't get paid for years, until now.

The woman trafficked from Nigeria worked nearly 24 hours a day for years without pay. But she has received more than $120,000 from her alleged captors.

The Department of Justice held an announcement Wednesday to reveal the case and the cash restitution.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas, the victim was brought from her native country with promises that she would be taken care of and paid for her work. But, prosecutors say she was forced to work around the clock to care for five children while she wasn't paid.

Prosecutors said she was threatened, rarely allowed to leave the home, slept on the floor, and was not paid a dime of the $100 a month she was promised.

Normally, that restitution would be made in small monthly payments. But the U.S. Attorney uncovered the suspects, Sandra and Chudy Nsobundu, had significant financial resources. So that money was seized from their bank to be given to the victim.

This is the first case in the country where a human trafficking victim has been paid all at once for what the state determined she was owed.

"This was modern-day slavery, and this is exactly what it looks like. And this was happening on a cul-de-sac in Cinco Ranch," said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. "If it should happen there, it can happen anywhere. Not only in Houston or in Texas, anywhere else in the country."

The victim is getting immigration assistance and counseling along with the six-figure check.

Authorities were first informed of the alleged human trafficking because some neighbors in Cinco Ranch saw signs that something was not right with this family. One call to authorities saved the woman.

Follow Steven Romo on Twitter and Facebook.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.