Attorneys File for Mistrial in Rubashkin Case


rubashkinAttorneys of former Agriprocessors vice president Reb Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin filed a motion for a mistrial this morning after a key government witness divulged details of illegal immigrants orking at the company.

Defense lawyer Guy Cook said by allowing the court to allow so much testimony about the alleged hiring and harboring of illegal immigrants at the Northeast Iowa kosher meat plant, the bank fraud case currently on trial would suffer from a “death by a thousand cuts.”

Defense attorneys took exception to the amount of details allowed, because U.S. District Judge Linda Reade had split the trial into two parts.

Reb Shalom Mordechai  is on trial for 91 fraud charges, which will be followed by a separate trial on 72 immigration charges. As part of the fraud charges, the government alleges Reb Shalom Mordechai  lied to the plant’s bank by failing to mention the company had illegal immigrants on staff.

In her decision, Reade said to allow all charges at once could unfairly prejudice the jury, allowing evidence for one group of charges to be applied to others. Reade also said she expected it to be difficult for a jury to compartmentalize damaging information.

On Tuesday, former human resources manager Elizabeth Billmeyer claimed in testimony that illegal immigrants worked at the plant.

The government presented evidence the company received no-match letters from the government — notification its employees did not have matching Social Security numbers — for several hundred employees, as well as a sharply worded e-mail from Billmeyer warning that people could go to jail if nothing was done.

On cross-examination today, defense attorney F. Montgomery Brown sought to blame Billmeyer for the failure to discover illegal immigrant applicants.

Brown also presented several strongly worded e-mails to other plant managers, in addition to the one she sent Reb Shalom Mordechai  .

The human resources manager, when pressed, agreed with Brown’s assessment that she had “a little bit of a temper,” was “a little exciteable,” and was “prone to drama.”

{WCF Courier/ Newscenter}


  1. The Judge allowed the testimony. Why would she then grant the mistrial motion??
    Unless they are headed for the appeals court.

  2. A Judge can allow anyone to talk about anything related to the SPECIFIC charges of the case being tried. The witness went into charges NOT being tried in this case. This could get interesting!