Sholom Rubashkin used to run the largest kosher meatpacking plant in the country – Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa. In 2009, he was found guilty of hiring hundreds of illegal immigrant workers which led to the bankruptcy of the company that Rubashkin’s father, Aaron Rubashkin founded. After the 2008 raid which “became an emblem of the Bush administration’s tough immigration enforcement strategy,” Rubashkin was also convicted of 86 counts of financial fraud. Among other things, Rubashkin lent money to illegal workers to obtain fake identity documents. Close to 400 of those immigrants were sent to jail and/or deported.
Federal prosecutors sought a life sentence for Rubashkin but revised their request after six former United States attorneys general including Janet Reno and Edwin Meese III wrote to the judge arguing that a life sentence for Rubashkin would be “a severe misreading of the sentencing guidelines as applied to white-collar crimes.” Rubashkin was sentenced to 27 years in jail. FYI: Enron CEO Jeff Skilling was sentenced to 24 years. Rubashkin will be featured on American Greed on October 30 at 8pm on CNBC.