Ready for sentencing in au pair case

au pairAu pair.Photo:

How severe should the punishment be for deceiving the authorities and acquiring an additional au pair? This week we’ll get the answer.

The verdict against the Industry Leader Ragnar Horn along with his wife and friends (a couple) from Oslo’s prestigious west side will be determined in the Oslo District Court.

The four have pleaded guilty to being in violation of the Immigration Act and the abuse of the au pair scheme, but not to forgery, says the Horn couple’s Defence Attorney Svein Holden.

Strict contention

The case is about the Horn couple having several au pairs during a two year period, including two Filipino sisters. Since it is only allowed to have one, their friends told Immigration that the one sister would be living with them.

The two couples have confessed that they signed a pro forma agreement so that the Horn couple could have two au pairs simultaneously.

Prosecutor Hans Petter Skurdal has recommended eight months imprisonment for the Horn couple and 120 days jail time for their friends who acted as intermediaries, according to Prosecutors.

The Prosecutor also believes that the Horn couple should forfeit NOK 966,000 should the court find that the Filipino women are entitled to compensation.

Holden has previously stated that the allegation is surprisingly high, but he will not speculate on what the final verdict will be as told to the news channel NTB.

– We’ll have to wait for the judgement and then decide how we will deal with the decision, he said.

– Were housekeepers

During the trial the au pair’s Legal Counsel Gunhild Vehus Heia, argued that the two had been misled into thinking that they would obtain work as au pairs in Norway. Instead they ended up being grossly underpaid maids.

In court she presented a report that she believes will prove that instead of Norwegian language lessons and cultural exchange that instead the two clients worked close to 65 hours a week doing housework, far more than the au pair contract for 30 hours a week.

The two indicate they worked eleven hours on weekdays, four hours every Saturday and two hours every Sunday for the family, for NOK 41 per hours. This is disputed by the Horn couple.

Demand compensation

One of the au pairs has demanded a compensation of NOK 855,000 million in salary arrears, as well as a minimum restitution of NOK 60,000 for physical and mental transitory damage she received from the family.

Her sister has demanded NOK 116,000 in compensation and NOK 10,000 kroner in damages.

The demands have been rejected by the couple, who believe that the sisters are lying in order to get compensation.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today