Former Agriprocessors c.e.o. faces new indictment

by MEAT&POULTRY Staff
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DES MOINES — Sholom Rubashkin, former Agriprocessors chief executive, has been named in a new 99-count federal indictment, according to The Associated Press. Mr. Rubashkin is being held on federal charges of bank fraud, harboring illegal immigrants, document fraud and identity theft. The new indictment adds charges of money laundering and violating an order from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

Filed last Thursday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, the indictment also names Mr. Rubashkin's company, Agriprocessors, and three co-defendants — Brent Beebe, Hosam Amara and Zeev Levi -- who worked at the plant in Postville, Iowa. Guy Cook, Mr. Rubashkin's attorney, said Friday his client denies all charges contained in the indictment.

The indictment alleges that Mr. Rubashkin and the others conspired to hire illegal immigrants to work at the plant and helped them obtain false identification to hide their illegal work status. Mr. Rubashkin and the others also are accused paying undocumented workers off the books and in cash. And in some cases, they were charged with placing workers on the payroll of a separate company, identified in court records as "H.E.," to hide the fact the workers were employed at Agriprocessors.

Mr. Rubashkin is charged with 14 counts of bank fraud and 41 counts of false statements and reports to a bank. He also was charged with 10 counts of money laundering in which he is accused of conducting financial transactions involving proceeds from unlawful activity, knowing that the transactions were designed to conceal the source of the proceeds.

According to the indictment, Mr. Rubashkin and Agriprocessors caused checks from a third party to be deposited into an account at Decorah Bank and Trust Company.

Mr. Rubashkin also is named in 20 counts of willful violation of order of the secretary of agriculture. He is accused of ignoring cease and desist orders from the U.S. secretary of agriculture over the company's alleged failure to pay the full purchase price of livestock as required by law, and for failing to deposit checks issued in payment for livestock in the mail before the close of the next business day.

Mr. Rubashkin, who has pleaded not guilty to previous charges again him, has sought to be released from jail, but a judge has rejected his request citing fears that might flee the country.

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