WASHINGTON (JTA) — Federal prosecutors have dropped all immigration charges against Sholom Rubashkin.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Deegan Jr. said in court papers filed last week that even if Rubashkin, the former manager of the Iowa kosher slaughterhouse Agriprocessors, was convicted on all 72 charges of using undocumented workers, it would not have any impact on his sentence because of his conviction earlier in the month on 86 fraud charges. Rubashkin faces up to 1,255 years in prison.
Deegan said dismissing the charges also would avoid a long trial. The prosecutor noted that some of the fraud convictions obtained in the first trial were premised on the fact that Rubashkin made false statements to a bank about the use of undocumented workers at his Postville plant, according to the Des Moines Register.
Rubashkin’s lawyer, Guy Cook, said the decision by the government was a victory for his client, who has maintained his innocence and is filing an appeal for a new trial on the fraud charges. Rubashkin has been denied bail while he waits to be sentenced on the fraud conviction because he has been deemed a flight risk. His sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
In addition, 24 illegal immigrants whose deportation was delayed so they could testify in the Rubashkin trial will be released. It is unclear if they will be deported, according to news reports.