SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — An Indian-American couple were indicted on charges of human trafficking last month related to forced labor of foreign nationals, primarily from India, authorities said.

A federal grand jury charged Satish Kartan, 43, and his wife Sharmistha Barai, 38, with conspiracy to commit forced labor and the commission of forced labor. Kartan has also been charged with fraud in contacting foreign labor, and his wife with benefiting from forced labor, the Department of Justice said.

If convicted, they each face a prison term of up to 20 years and a fine of $250,000.

The couple were arrested in California back in October, they were both released on bond under conditions which prohibit them from hiring any non-relatives to perform domestic or childcare work for them. According to court documents, between February 21, 2014, and October 3, 2016,  Kartan and his wife hired workers from overseas to perform domestic labor in their homes in New Mexico, California and elsewhere in the U.S.

In advertisements seeking workers on the internet and India-based newspapers, the couple made false claims regarding wages and duties of employment, federal prosecutors alleged.

“Once the workers arrived at the defendants’ residences, Kartan and Barai forced them to work 18 hours a day with limited rest and nourishment. The defendants did not pay wages and used force, physical restraint and coercive conduct to get the workers to perform the labor and services,” the indictment said.

The indictment also alleged that both, on more than one occasion, struck one of their workers, including one incident where Barai grabbed the hands of a worker and held them over a gas stove.