POSTVILLE, Iowa (JTA) — A federal magistrate judge denied bail for the former plant manager of a kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa.
Judge Jon Scoles ruled Thursday that Sholom Rubashkin — whose family owned Agriprocessors, what was at one time the country’s largest kosher meatpacking plant — posed a flight risk and would be held until trial. Scoles was not persuaded by Rubashkin’s willingness to post more than a $3 million bond, the bulk of it guaranteed by Jewish residents of Postville who were willing to put up their home equity as a guarantee, the Iowa Independent reported.
Prosecutors claimed in a hearing Wednesday that a travel bag packed with passports, and $20,000 in cash and silver coins, were found in Rubashkin’s home. Rubashkin’s attorneys argued that he was deeply connected to his family and the Postville community, and posed no risk of flight.
Rubashkin was arrested last week and charged with orchestrating an accounting scheme that enabled Agriprocessors to borrow more money than it had collateral to cover. At the time of his arrest, Rubashkin was free on another bond resulting from his arrest in late October on charges related to document fraud and the harboring of illegal aliens.
Agriprocessors was the target of a massive federal immigration raid in May. On Nov. 4, the company filed for bankruptcy protection, throwing the national kosher meat supply into crisis.