Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Remember Mr. Rubashkin? He's Innocent!

Remember Mr. Rubashkin (pic), the Des Moines, Iowa Kosher Foods businessman facing life in prison for financial fraud of various stripes which I blawged about in April?  The sentencing memo of the federal prosecutors demanded that the US District Judge overseeing his case throw the book at this lousy businessman who was trying to keep his family's longtime agribusiness open.  The recommended sentence was so shocking to the conscience that former leading law enforcement including attorneys general of the United States wrote Judge Linda R. Reade to object.

Part of the call for the life sentence of Mr. Rubashkin was the claim by federal prosecutors that Rubashkin, an Orthodox Jew, was a lawless man who tolerated wholesale violations of child labor laws in his agribusiness factory which employed many immigrants from Central America. The child labor charges were tried in the US District Court which concluded last week with Rubashkin's acquittal on 67 counts by the federal jury that deliberated 12 hours following a 5 week trial.  Mr. Rubashkin's counsel are arguing that the federal financial fraud convictions were tainted by smears during the prosecution of those charges that Rubashkin's attorneys were prevented from rebutting.

I told you in April why I identify with Mr. Rubashkin, the coverage at the Des Moines Register which includes a trial blog that makes compelling reading.

One of the most interesting remarks following Rubashkin's acquittal on the child labor charges comes from Rubashkin's son coming right from Torah and Talmud.  I'm paraphrasing, read the original at the link:  the financial verdicts are bad, but the allegations of crimes involving violations of child labor laws were more serious crimes against morality.   It is one thing to bear the self-knowledge that you are a bad business man and that this judgment is something you live with--it is quite another to be accused of exploiting children and others--particularly when you tried to do something righteous and consistent with your beliefs.

The evidence offered against Sholom Rubashkin was not credible. Consistent with trial testimony this was a troubled business man and the evidence demonstrated that he personally refused to hire minors.  Shalom,  Des Moines!


  1. Iowa, not Idaho

  2. Anon. 4:07 thank you for correcting the geographically-challenged Bad Lawyer. I've long confused Indiana and Ohio.