A former regional security officer at the United States Embassy in Phnom Penh, Harold
Countryman, and his wife, Kimberly Countryman, have pleaded guilty in Virginia, USA,
to aiding and abetting visa fraud to further the forced labor of a Cambodian woman
they were employing.
A US embassy press release stated that according to court documents, the couple provided
materially false information to obtain a visa on behalf of a Cambodian woman whom
they then brought to the United States to work for them as a domestic servant for
Kimberly Countryman admitted that she procured the visa with reason to believe that
it would be used to commit a felony, namely forced labor. She acknowledged that she
withheld a portion of the woman's pay, took possession of the woman's passport, and
physically assaulted the woman.
As part of the plea agreement the Countrymans are required to pay $50,000 in restitution
and $50,000 in forfeiture. They are scheduled for sentencing on October 13, 2006.