The Latest: Attorney says Oklahoma couple denies trafficking

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jul. 27, 2017 at 5:11 p.m.



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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit alleging an Oklahoma couple engaged in a human trafficking scheme (all times local):

6 p.m.

The attorney for an Oklahoma couple denies allegations in a federal lawsuit that claims the two engaged in a human trafficking scheme.

Kevin Donelson said Thursday that Walter and Carolyn Schumacher of Clinton are "heartsick" about the lawsuit by three Filipino workers and believe the allegations will be proven false.

The lawsuit seeking class-action status says the workers brought to Clinton, 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 the workers were threatened with physical harm when they complained their compensation didn't meet contractual obligations.

The Schumachers own a Holiday Inn Express, steakhouse and waterpark in Clinton.

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9:20 a.m.

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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The Associated Press

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