Thursday, 4:30 PM
Saudi princess pleads guilty to immigration violations
By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff
A Saudi princess pleaded guilty today to federal immigration violations involving two Indonesian women who worked long hours for meager wages at her Winchester home. As a part of a plea deal, however, federal prosecutors agreed to drop more serious charges of domestic servitude and forced labor.
Hana Al Jader, 41, admitted that she brought the two women from Saudi Arabia to the United States in February 2003 to cook, work as housekeepers, and care for her family while her husband, Prince Mohamed Bin Turki Alsaud, was receiving medical treatment in Boston following a car accident that left him paralyzed. Today, Al Jader pleaded guilty in US District Court to visa fraud and harboring aliens for financial gain.
Assistant US Attorney S. Theodore Merritt said Al Jader falsely claimed on visa applications that she would pay the women $1400 or $1500 a month and require them to work no more than 40 hours a week. Instead, Merritt said that she paid them $300 a month for working long hours seven days a week. He said the women continued to work for Al Jader for 11 months after their visas expired.
US District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay scheduled sentencing for Dec. 12.
Defense lawyers said federal sentencing guidelines recommend a sentence ranging from six to 12 months in prison for Al Jader, but they will urge the judge to order probation.
"It's obvious that the government no longer feels that the case is anywhere near as serious as they thought it was when they initially arrested her,'' said Al Jader's lawyer, Joseph Balliro, noting that the government had agreed to drop six counts involving domestic servitude and forced labor.
However, Assistant US Attorney Brian T. Kelly said prosecutors will urge the judge to sentence Al Jader to a year in prison, order her to pay a $40,000 fine and then deport her.