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Houston Business Accused of Exploiting Vietnamese Workers

HOUSTON (CN) - Coast to Coast Resources exploited poor, uneducated Vietnamese laborers with the promise of a lucrative salary working for the company in Houston, then forced them to pay thousands in travel and lodging fees, and sent them packing after eight months, before they could recoup their expenses, Thang Hong Luu claims in Harris County Court. "Plaintiff's days were filled with hard work and dreary, isolated living," says Luu, who allegedly mortgaged his home to come up with the $6,000 to $15,000 the defendant charged for its scheme.

Luu claims he relocated to Houston after the company promised him a $120,000 salary over 30 months for work near the Houston Ship Channel. Coast to Coast also promised the workers comfortable living, but housed them in a "rundown, dilapidated two-bedroom apartment" with three other laborers, the plaintiff claims. The employer allegedly deducted $500 a month from their paychecks for rent and $1,200 a month for transportation.

"Every day a driver shuttled plaintiff and other laborers between work and the apartments; the driver was of Hispanic origin and did not speak any Vietnamese, thus ensuring there would be no communication between plaintiff and any outsiders," Luu says. "Defendants prohibited plaintiff from going anywhere."

The defendants allegedly prey on Vietnam's poor, uneducated laborers, who make up 95 percent of the working population of Vietnam, by luring them with their fraudulent ads.

Luu says they returned him early to make room for "a new set of hopeful, unsuspecting laborers from whom a fresh set of fees (and essentially free labor) can be collected under this fraudulent scheme."

Luu is represented by Tammy Tran.

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