Move made to keep ex-Agriprocessors c.e.o. jailed

by MEAT&POULTRY Staff
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CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA – On Jan. 26, prosecutors detailed bank-fraud charges in a push to keep Sholom Rubashkin, former Agriprocessors chief executive, jailed until his trial, according to The Associated Press.

Prosecutors argued yesterday that Mr. Rubashkin artificially inflated the amounts debtors owed Agriprocessors, the Postville, Iowa meat processor that has faced legal trouble since an immigration raid last May and has since declared bankruptcy.

The hearing focused on whether Mr. Rubashkin should remain jailed. He was arrested in October, released and then arrested again days later on bank fraud charges. Prosecutors have said that Mr. Rubashkin tampered with evidence while he was free on bail.

Judge Linda Reade will hear more testimony from the defense on Jan. 27.

The hearings are a result of an order from Ms. Reade to essentially rehear evidence concerning Mr. Rubashkin's bail status. Magistrate Jon Scoles, who had overseen the hearings, denied Mr. Rubashkin bail, then later denied a request for a new hearing.

Agents found about $20,000 in a tote bag in his bedroom after Mr. Rubashkin was arrested a second time, along with passports and birth certificates for some of his children, evidence they said proves Mr. Rubashkin planned to flee.

But Mr. Rubashkin's wife testified that the agents miscounted the money and that there was no more than $17,000 in a pouch inside the bag. Most of it has been used to pay household bills, she added.

In other news, Soglowek Nahariya Ltd., an Israeli food company, has reportedly offered $40 million for the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, and a smaller, subsidiary plant in Nebraska, according to the DesMoines Register.

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