A World Bank economist living in Falls Church will spend one day in jail and two years on supervised release after she lied to the FBI while it was conducting a human trafficking investigation into Anne Bakilana's treatment of her domestic servant.
Bakilana had already agreed to pay the domestic servant $41,000 as restitution for not paying the woman a prevailing wage and overtime for more than eight months. Bakilana pleaded guilty to making fictitious and fraudulent statement charges earlier this year. The servant has been granted a temporary visa because she is a "victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons," prosecutors wrote in court documents.
"While the World Bank's rules call for mandatory termination if a staff member is convicted of a felony, we review cases individually to ensure that due process was followed," a bank spokesman told The Washington Examiner. The bank has offices in more than 180 countries and the definition of felony varies widely from country to country. Bakilana was convicted of a felony.
The FBI began an investigation into Bakilana and her relationship with her servant, "S.K.," in July 2009 after receiving a tip on a possible "human trafficking situation," court documents said. The FBI recorded conversations between Bakilana and S.K., and determined Bakilana was withholding S.K.'s passport.
When Bakilana was confronted by investigators in August, she lied to the FBI agents about having threatened S.K. with deportation if S.K. were to quit, Bakilana admitted.
Bakilana contends she did not restrict S.K.'s movements. In court documents, Bakilana said she paid for S.K.'s education, gave her a Metro farecard and allowed her to come and go as she pleased.
Community activists in Virginia have voiced concern that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alexandria didn't prosecute Bakilana under the federal human trafficking statute.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alexandria, said the case was investigated jointly by the U.S. Attorney's Office and a Department of Justice unit designed to only prosecute human trafficking cases. They both determined the statute did not apply in this case, he said.