HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Los Angeles businessman accused of trafficking poor farm workers may be set free from a Honolulu jail. At a detention hearing in federal court Wednesday a judge agreed to release Mordechai Orian until his trial.
He'll have to wear an electronic monitoring device, and surrender his passport. He can't leave until he posts a $1 million-dollar bond, secured through his Malibu home. For now, the alleged mastermind of the largest human trafficking case ever prosecuted in the US remains locked up.
"Mr. Orian has some compelling personal reasons to be released and those include needing to be with his family and his son's pending bar mitzvah. The fact that tonight begins the high holiday of Rosh Hashanah and it's really sad and unfortunate that he will remain in custody" said Mark Werksman, Orian's lawyer.
"The Thai victims, what they've been through, is so much more... they've missed out on five or six years being with their families so one religious holiday doesn't really cut it for me" said Claire Hanusz, attorney for the alleged victims.
Orian's recruiting company sent Thai workers to more than a dozen Hawaii farms and allegedly forced them into debt so it was impossible to leave. Prosecutors are fighting to keep him here, and plan to appeal his release.
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