US drops biggest-ever human trafficking case amid evidence doubts
I have to wonder what favors the Company CEO and Israeli national, Mordechai Orian, was able to pull to get this case to be dropped; whatever they were, they had to be monumental, and this case even had repercussions here in Hawaii.
The head of an alleged human trafficking operation surrendered to the FBI in Honolulu Friday afternoon and was being held without bail after pleading not guilty in federal court. Mordechai Orian is accused of importing foreign workers, then mistreating them and failing to live up to promises. The FBI calls it the largest human trafficking case ever prosecuted in the United States. Orian, a 45 year old Israeli national, is chief executive officer of Global Horizons, a company that recruits workers from impoverished countries and finds them jobs elsewhere, often in the United States. "What for me and what for my clients was the major injustice was the fact that they were lied to as far as how long they would be guaranteed work in the United States," said Clare Hanusz. The government credits Hanusz and fellow immigration attorney Melissa Vincenty with helping break the case. Hanusz and Vincenty met with workers from Thailand who were allegedly recruited by Global Horizons. Some of the workers say they paid Global Horizons as much as $21,000 in return for three years employment on farms in the United States. The laborers planned use wages from their first year paying off the money they borrowed to get the jobs. Wages from the second and third years would be profit. "What happened was they were moved from farm to farm and often times they would work for a new farm in a new state and maybe work for a week or two and then there would be no work for weeks or months," Hanusz told Hawaii News Now. Because they were not being paid, the workers were not able to pay their debts back home in Thailand. And according to an indictment made public Thursday the workers could not flee. Their passports had allegedly been taken away and they were allegedly held captive on the farms. If Orian is found guilty on all current charges, he could be sentenced to as much as 70 years in prison. It is possible more charges are coming soon.
So what happened here, and why?!?
Even though the Justice Department spent millions of dollars on the case, it was dropped for lack of evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The three defendants who pleaded guilty will receive the opportunity to retract their pleas. Just 11 months ago, federal prosecutors dropped similar accusations against owners of Hawaii’s Aloun Farms, whose tactics were used to keep foreign workers in their service. The case was dropped after the lead prosecutor misstated the law in front of a grand jury. The same team of federal prosecutors handled the Global Horizons case. “Based on this further investigation, the government has determined that dismissal of this matter is in the interest of justice,” reads the Global Horizons case dismissal order.
Was the case engineered to fail, courtesy of deliberate screw-ups by the prosecutors' offices?!?
I can only wonder. ~ Mike Rivero