US Restaurateur Admits Using 4 Thais for Cheap Labor

A bilaterial meeting between Thai and Cambodian officials on the Development of Plan of Action according to the MOU on Cooperation for Eliminating Trafficking in Persons held in 2016 in Bangkok. Photo: Inmean / Wikimedia Commons

PORTLAND, Oregon — An Oregon man originally from Thailand has admitted bringing four Thai nationals into the United States to provide cheap labor at his restaurants.

Paul Jumroon pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges of forced labor, visa fraud conspiracy and filing a false income tax return.

Prosecutors say Jumroon, of Depoe Bay, used threats of deportation, control over identification documents and other methods to force the victims to work about 80 hours a week for minimal pay.

He agreed Wednesday to pay the victims a combined USD$131,391.95 for their unpaid labor.

Jumroon is scheduled to be sentenced May 24. He faces up to 20 years in prison.