Kosher meat plant owner set for 27 year sentence

By Jessica Elgot, June 21, 2010
Sholom Rubashkin: convicted of more than 80 fraud charges.

Sholom Rubashkin: convicted of more than 80 fraud charges.

The former CEO of America's largest kosher slaughterhouse Sholom Rubashkin is expected to be sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Mr Rubashkin, 51, the former CEO of the Agriprocessors slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, was convicted of 86 counts of bank fraud in November. He is expected to appeal against his conviction.

Agriprocessors was raided by federal agents in May 2008. Almost 400 illegal immigrants, mainly from Guatemala, were rounded up and deported.

Over the months that followed Mr Rubashkin faced charges of bank fraud, and of employing undocumented and underage workers. He was later acquitted of all child labour charges.

But investigators uncovered a massive fraud in which Rubashkin had falsified documents in order to maintain a multi-million-dollar line of credit from a bank. After securing a fraud conviction last year, federal prosecutors dropped immigration charges against Rubashkin.

However, in court papers, they called for a life sentence based on the scale and severity of his crimes.

That decision spurred six prominent lawyers, including former attorney generals, to write to Judge Reade protesting at the excessive sentence.

Last updated: 10:07am, June 22 2010