Lawsuit: Trafficking scheme lured Filipinos to Oklahoma

Lawsuit: Trafficking scheme lured Filipinos to Oklahoma
Posted at 11:19 AM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-27 12:19:48-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The ACLU and other groups have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Oklahoma business owners engaged in a human trafficking scheme that lured workers from the Philippines promising good wages, but instead used them as cheap labor.

A complaint seeking class-action status filed Wednesday says three Filipino workers brought to Clinton, Oklahoma, about 80 miles (128 kilometers) west of Oklahoma City, paid thousands of dollars in recruiting fees to cover visa-related costs that should be incurred by sponsoring U.S. employers.

The lawsuit alleges that the workers were threatened with physical harm when they complained their compensation didn't meet contractual obligations.

Walter and Carolyn Schumacher, a married couple who own a Holiday Inn Express, steakhouse and waterpark in Clinton where the plaintiffs say they worked, didn't reply to calls seeking comment.

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