President commutes sentence of former slaughterhouse executive

23 December, 2017, 02:02 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Defense attorney Montgomery Brown right and defendant Sholom Rubashkin talk during the trial of Sholom Rubashkin on state child labor charges on Friday

There was joyous celebration and expressions of gratitude throughout the Jewish community on Wednesday evening, at the conclusion of Chanukah, after news spread that President Donald Trump had commuted the sentence of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin to time served.

Rubashkin, of Postville, ran the Iowa headquarters of the country's largest kosher meat-processing company.

The injustice of Mr. Rubashkin's grossly excessive 27-year sentence was readily apparent to any fair-minded individual who reviewed the facts of the case.

In 2008, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security raided the plant and arrested almost 400 workers who lacked proper documentation.

With a profound sense of appreciation, Agudath Israel of America gratefully welcomes the news of President Trump's commutation of the sentence of Sholom Rubashkin.

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Unlike the case of Arpaio, whom a judge had found guilty of contempt in a case involving racial profiling, Trump's latest action leaves Rubashkin's conviction intact, as well as terms of his supervised release from federal prison and his obligation to make restitution.

The statement described the commutation as an "an action encouraged by bipartisan leaders from across the political spectrum, from Nancy Pelosi to Orrin Hatch", referring to the Democratic leader in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Republican senator from Utah, respectively.

The White House noted that Rubashkin's sentence is only being commuted and he has not been pardoned.

A jury acquitted Rubashkin on charges of harbouring illegal immigrants and employing child labour, but he was charged later on the bank fraud and money laundering charges as he tried to sell the company, which was on the verge of bankruptcy.

In 2009, Rubashkin was convicted of defrauding a St. Louis bank by using fabricated numbers to obtain a $35 million line of credit for the bank, resulting in the 27-year prison sentence.

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Billionaire Hershey Friedman of Montreal purchased the meatpacking plant in 2009 and rebranded it as Agri Star Meat and Poultry.

" The sentence previously imposed was unfair, unjust and essential a life sentence", he said via email.

The Obama administration rebuffed arguments in favor of Rubashkin, and in January, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade rejected Rubashkin's request for a shorter sentence and criticized his legal representation for embellishing its claims of government wrongdoing.

Rubashkin, a member of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, is 57. "She actually had 'a weekly operations/planning meeting" with federal agents and the US attorney.

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