Aloun Farms owners get $192,000 returned - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Aloun Farms owners get $192,000 returned

HONOLULU (AP) - The owners of Hawaii's second-largest farm are getting back $192,000 they had paid as restitution to 24 Thai workers they're accused of exploiting.

Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway ruled Thursday that the money should be returned to brothers Alec and Mike Sou, operators of Aloun Farms, to help them pay for their defense.

The money was to have been divided among the farm workers - about $8,000 each - under the Sous' plea agreements.

But Mollway rejected the deal last month because the Sous disputed some of the facts they had previously acknowledged. They then changed their pleas to not guilty.

The Sous' human trafficking trial is set to begin Nov. 9. In all, they are accused of exploiting 44 imported laborers from Thailand.

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