New indictment in Agriprocessors immigration case

In a 12-count indictment issued Nov. 20 in US District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the former CEO and three managers of the Agriprocessors kosher meat company were charged with new counts in connection with the hiring of unauthorized workers at the company’s plant in Postville, Iowa. The case is based on allegations that a top manager provided cash for workers to obtain false documents and that lower level supervisors helped employees get new paperwork.

The new indictment includes three defendants who haven’t previously faced federal charges in the case: operations manager Brent Beebe and poultry managers Hosam Amara and Zeev Levi. Beebe, Amara and Levi are each charged with conspiracy to harbor unauthorized immigrants for profit, harboring unauthorized immigrants for profit, conspiracy to commit document fraud and aiding and abetting document fraud. Beebe is also charged with six counts and Amara and Levi with one count each of identity theft, according to the indictment. Beebe was arrested on Nov. 21 at the Postville plant and pleaded not guilty in court the same day. Beebe’s trial has been scheduled for Jan. 20, and he has been placed under travel restrictions and fitted with an electronic monitoring device that prohibit him from leaving Iowa. Warrants have been issued for Amara and Levi; their whereabouts are unknown.

Former CEO Sholom Rubashkin is charged in the new indictment with harboring unauthorized immigrants for profit and conspiracy to commit document fraud. He was previously charged with conspiracy to harbor unauthorized immigrants for profit, aiding and abetting document fraud, six counts of aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft and two counts of bank fraud. Also included in the new indictment is human resource employee Karina Freund, who faces a new charge of conspiracy to harbor unauthorized immigrants for profit. She was previously charged with harboring. Rubashkin and Freund have a trial date set for Jan. 20. Freund has been released with an electronic monitoring device. On Nov. 20, US Magistrate Judge Jon S. Scoles ordered Rubashkin detained without bail until trial. (The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Nov. 21; AP, Nov. 21; ICE news release, Nov. 21)

From Immigration News Briefs, Nov. 30

See our last posts on the politics of immigration and the struggle in Iowa.