More charges against Rubashkin

NEW YORK (JTA) — Federal prosecutors added to the criminal charges facing Agriprocessors and one of its former officials.

In a new indictment filed Jan. 16 in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the kosher meatpacker and its former chief, Sholom Rubashkin, were hit with new charges of money laundering, making false statements to a bank, bank fraud and willfully violating an order of the U.S. secretary of agriculture.

The indictment also claims that Rubashkin continued to run the day-to-day operations of the company’s Postville packing plant even after a new chief executive was named in the fall. Agriprocessors was permitted to maintain its kosher certification from the Orthodox Union because it replaced its management.

The new charges add to the criminal allegations facing Rubashkin, who is also facing a slew of accusations related to his alleged role in employing illegal immigrants at the Agriprocessors kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa. An arraignment on the new charges is slated for Jan. 23, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa.

Rubashkin is being held without bail in Dubuque. Among other reasons for not allowing bail, a federal magistrate ruled that Rubashkin poses a flight risk. The decision prompted letters of protest from several national Jewish organizations concerned that the prosecutors invoked Israel’s Law of Return as a factor arguing against Rubashkin’s release prior to trial.

The trial is scheduled to start in September.

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