Trump commutes kosher meat boss Sholom Rubashkin's fraud conviction

Rubashkin filmed smiling and singing after being released early from prison, where he was serving a 27-year sentence


A former kosher slaughterhouse chief executive serving a 27-year jail term for fraud has been released early by US President Donald Trump.

Sholom Rubashkin, who was convicted of falsifying financial documents to secure a loan, walked free on Wednesday night after his sentence was commuted.

He is the former chief executive of Agriprocessors, Inc, which was the largest slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in the United States.

Mr Trump said the 27 year sentence was excessive in comparison to similar cases and Mr Rubashkin had served enough time.

A statement from the White House said: “Mr Rubashkin has now served more than 8 years of that sentence, which many have called excessive in light of its disparity with sentences imposed for similar crimes.

“A bipartisan group of more than 100 former high-ranking and distinguished Department of Justice officials, prosecutors, judges, and legal scholars have expressed concerns about the evidentiary proceedings in Mr Rubashkin’s case and the severity of his sentence.”

As part of his release he will be under strict parole and he has not received a pardon for his crime.

The White House noted that Mr Rubashkin, 57, and a father of 10, had been supported by a number of legal officials who agreed with the decision to commute his sentence.

John Ashcroft, Michael Mukasey, Edwin Meese and Ramsey Clark, who served as attorneys general under Presidents George W Bush, Ronald Reagan and Lyndon Johnson, all supported Mr Rubashkin.

Guy Cook, Mr Rubashkin’s lawyer said his client had “finally received justice”.

“The sentence previously imposed was unfair, unjust and essentially a life sentence,” Mr Cook said.

“President Trump has done what is right and just. The unrelenting efforts on Rubashkin’s behalf have finally paid off.”

Mr Rubashkin’s arrest led to the Agriprocessors plant’s temporary closure, with many of the town’s Jews leaving.

It was bought by Canadian billionaire Hershey Friedman, and rebranded as Agri Star Meat and Poultry.

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