FOREIGN WORKERS 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
HONOLULU — A federal judge set bail at $1 million for the Israeli CEO of a labor recruiting company accused of exploiting 400 workers from Thailand and forcing them to work on US farms.
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Mordechai Orian, an Israeli national and head of Los Angeles-based Global Horizons Manpower Inc., was ordered Wednesday to be held in federal custody until he can raise the money.
KITV reports federal prosecutors claim Orian is a flight risk. They had sought to keep him in custody until his trial, and plan to appeal.
Orian, 45, is accused in what the FBI calls the largest human-trafficking case charged in US history.
Three of his employees and two Thailand-based recruiters also were indicted last week.
Orian is accused of luring the workers with false promises of lucrative
jobs, then confiscating their passports, failing to honor their
employment contracts and threatening to deport them.
He surrendered to federal authorities in Honolulu on Friday, a day after
the FBI tried to arrest him at his Southern California home but found
he wasn't there.
Orian's public relations agency, KLS, has said he complied with the FBI
in negotiating his surrender. It issued a statement criticizing the FBI
for breaking doors and windows in his Los Angeles home while he was out
of town on business in Texas.