Trafficker: LA man kept 48 Thai workers in slave-labor conditions

WHAT: A Los Angeles federal jury found Yoo Taik Kim, 55, guilty of visa fraud and lying on his citizenship application. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission brought the case for 48 Thai workers who alleged they were human trafficking victims.

WHY: The Thais were welders purportedly recruited for legitimate jobs with an American steel company. Instead they were forced to toil at Kim’s restaurants for little or no pay and live in cramped quarters lacking furniture or electricity — or be deported if they quit.

HOW: Kim got caught when he tried to get visa extensions for the welders, even though most of them had never worked at the steel company. He also lost his U.S. citizenship by being found guilty of lying on the application about his manpower agency work.

 

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