Updated: June 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm
DENVER — A man accused of trafficking in forced labor said he made sure nurses he recruited knew how much they would make when they got to the United States.
Kizzy Kalu said Monday he did not make money bringing nurses here. He said the only way he could make money was by getting them to work in the program.
Federal prosecutors said Kalu lured nurses to the United States with promises of positions paying up to $72,000, then demanded they give him up to $1,200 a month or lose the work visas that allowed them to work here. Kalu said he only promised them help finding jobs.
"I was to recruit overseas and help nurses navigate the process and do whatever they had to do to come to the United States," he said.
According to the Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/q6s6tlc ), Kalu, a Highlands Ranch businessman, was working as a recruiter at Teikyo Loretto Heights University.
The government alleges he promised the nurses high-paying positions with a school that didn't exist, where they would work as nursing instructors and supervisors.
When the nurses arrived, they found there was no school. Prosecutors said Kalu placed them in nursing homes where their duties were those of regular registered nurses.
Kalu said he didn't have a commitment from those facilities to hire nurses from his program. Instead, he said, the facilities had demonstrated an interest in the program.
Kalu also said he invested heavily in developing the business.
Kalu said he paid a lawyer who specialized in immigration matters for advice and help in arranging visas. He said when nurses arrived, he temporarily paid their rent and furnished their apartments.
Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com