FBI arrests head of Calif. company accused of trafficking Thai workers to US farms

By Mark Niesse, AP
Friday, September 3, 2010

Head of alleged trafficking scheme arrested

HONOLULU — The head of a labor recruiting company accused of exploiting 400 workers from Thailand and forcing them to work on U.S. farms is under arrest and pleading not guilty.

Los Angeles-based Global Horizons Manpower Inc. CEO Mordechai Orian surrendered Friday in Honolulu, and he entered his not guilty plea in federal court shortly afterward.

Orian, wearing chains around his ankles in court, is being held at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center until a hearing next week.

The FBI had attempted to arrest Orian at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Orian, three of his employees and two Thailand-based recruiters were charged in an indictment Thursday.

The FBI says it is the largest human-trafficking case ever charged in U.S. history.

will not be displayed