Federal Bureau of Investigation – The Honolulu Division: Department of Justice Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 14, 2010
United States Attorney’s Office
District of Hawaii
Contact: (808) 541-2850

Two Brothers Plead Guilty in Conspiracy to Hold Thai Workers in Forced Labor in Hawaii

WASHINGTON—Defendants Alec Sou and Mike Sou, co-owners of Aloun Farm, pleaded guilty on Jan.13, 2010, in federal district court in Honolulu, to conspiring to commit forced labor. The two defendants, who are brothers, each face up to five years in prison for their respective roles in a labor trafficking scheme that held Thai agricultural workers in service at Aloun Farm through a scheme of debts, threats, and restraint.

During their respective plea hearings, the defendants acknowledged that they conspired with one another and with others to hold 44 Thai men in forced labor on a farm operated by the defendants, using a scheme of physical restraint and threats of serious harm to intimidate the workers and hold them in fear of attempting to leave the defendants’ service.