The former manager of a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville will be sentenced to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay around $27 million in restitution. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade will make the sentence official for Sholom Rubashkin, 51, later today. She outlined the sentence in a court memorandum issued Monday.
A jury found Rubashkin guilty on 86 federal financial fraud charges last fall. Rubashkin’s wife, Leah, says she’s a bit surprised with the sentence especially since prosecutors requested a term of 25 years. “On one hand we’re really shocked, on the other hand this just kind of sums up the whole story we’ve been going through,” Leah said. “I mean, why the raid in the first place?”
Federal immigration officials raided the former Agriprocessors plant two years ago. Leah Rubashkin called Judge Reade “cruel” for not taking Sholom’s family into account with the sentencing. The Rubashkins have 10 children, including a 17-year-old boy who’s autistic. “It’s kind of like the rug was pulled from under their feet,” Leah said of her children. “It’s not easy, but we try to keep them positive and focused towards the future.”
A U.S. attorney’s spokesman says his office will wait to comment after the sentence is imposed. The sentencing is scheduled for 3:30 this afternoon in Cedar Rapids. Guy Cook, Rubashkin’s Des Moines attorney, said he will appeal the 27 year sentence.
By Justin Foss (KCRG-TV)