Global Horizons Indicted for Human Trafficking

In what federal officials described as the largest human-trafficking case ever brought by the government, Mordechai Orian, president and chief operating officer of Global Horizons, was indicted by the US Department of Justice for "engaging in a conspiracy to commit forced labor and document servitude."

The alleged victims of the Los Angeles-based labor recruiter are some 400 Thai citizens who were brought to work on farms in the US between May 2004 through September 2005. They were hired under H-2A visas which allow farm workers into the country for seasonal work.

In late 2006, after CorpWatch published an article and a cartoon about the recruitment and abuse of Thai farm workers, Orian sued the non-profit. Orian stated that our reporter, Kari Lydersen was "part of (a) campaign against the H-2A program and [was trying] to protect illegal immigrant and the legal groups who stand to profit from the representation of illegal aliens." CorpWatch refused to retract the article or the cartoon but the two parties came to an out-of-court settlement in April 2007 to correct a few disputed facts in the story. No money was paid by either side...

Read the rest of the article here.

Tags: forced labor, foreign workers, human trafficking, immigrant workers, worker rights

    • Pratap Chatterjee
    • Pratap Chatterjee is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a regular contributor to the Guardian newspaper. Chatterjee previously worked as an investigative journalist on environmental issues and military contracting, notably as managing editor of CorpWatch in Oakland, California, and as global e...

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