Prosecutors Change Tune, Seek 25-Year Term in Rubashkin Case; Reb Sholom Mordechai Takes the Stand


rubashkin2Prosecutors asked a federal judge today to sentence Reb Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin to 25 years in prison, less than the life sentence they have said they were entitled to request.

The former Agriprocessors Inc. manager gave a tearful, halting speech at the end of his sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids today. Reb Sholom Mordechai told the court he had made mistakes and was remorseful. He reiterated that he was sorry for his actions, and that he was put in a position by his family of running the operations of a large plant for which he had no training or interest.

“I basically should have stayed in teaching and being an emissary,” he said.

Prosecutors had added up the charges in pre-sentencing documents and the total came to a life sentence. But assistant U.S. Attorney Pete Deegan today in court that the government would seek 25 years and not life, which is “usually reserved for violent criminals.”

“Here you have a defendant who had everything: family, love and support,” Deegan said. “And he’s asking for a lesser sentence because of it.”

Defense attorney Guy Cook, who had requested a six-year sentence, said the request for 25 years would essentially be a life sentence for the 50-year-old Reb Sholom Mordechai . Cook asked that he serve it at a facility in Otisville, N.Y., which better caters to the needs of frum Yidden.

“He only has about 25 or 26 years left on this earth,” Cook said. “Twenty-five years is a life sentence.”

U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade says she’ll issue a ruling on May 27.

The possible life sentence enraged some in the Jewish community and surprised legal scholars. Six former U.S. attorneys general signed a letter sent to Reade that said that the possibility of life in prison was excessive for a nonviolent offender without a criminal record.

Cook said he had gotten to know Rubashkin since he took on the case, and found him to be a deeply religious man who put the needs of others in front of his own.

“It was not a Ponzi scheme, it was not a Madoff scheme,” Cook said. “He made mistakes and he compounded those mistakes. And he felt trapped and didn’t know how to get out.”

Earlier today , Abe Roth, an accountant and longtime friend of Rubashkin, testified that prosecutors miscalculated the millions of dollars in losses suffered by Agriprocessors’ lender bank, First Bank Business Capital.

The amount of money lost by the bank is key because it could affect Rubashkin’s sentence. Roth countered prosecutors’ claims that the St. Louis-based bank lost $26 million because of the fraud.

Roth said much of that loss had nothing to do with the fraud. He claimed the purported loss of $26 million doesn’t factor in the $4 million the bank made in interest from the loan, or how much of the loan came from fraudulently inflated invoices.

Prosecutors “made everyone believe that number of $26 million is God-given, and it isn’t,” Roth said.

Roth said only about $10 million was artificially inflated, and that the rest “was pristine, wasn’t influenced by any corrupted” accounts.

{Forbes/Noam Newscenter}


  1. Terrible! 25 years is a life sentence. I am pretty sure this prosecutor and judge decided this way ahead of time, but said life so that when they come down to 25 years, we should be happy. To us, however, this is a death sentence. They are looking to kill this man and his family. He deserves exactly what others got with the same crime: 1 year plus a fine. Period.
    Keep davening. Let’s not give up. There is a Hashem who runs this world.

  2. It’s still not great but at least it’s moving in the right direction.
    May we hear B’suros Tovos B’karov!

  3. That’s not relief at all; he will be 76 than I H.
    These thirsty vampires want to taste some Jewish blood. For long time they are in hiding. In some states and in Europe 25 years they give for notorious murderess.
    That’s not justice that’s criminal act of the prosecutors or rather persecutors and I hope that judge will be not following them.

  4. “The amount of money lost by the bank is key because it could affect Rubashkin’s sentence.”

    And why is that so?
    Rubashkin claimed bankruptcy as a direct consequence of the ICE raid and his subsequent jailing. Therefore he couldn’t continue making payments to the bank. But he certainly didn’t intend to steal the money he borrowed. So in my humble opinion the amount of money here shouldn’t be the issue.
    The only issue here should be the misstating of the companies income. That’s it. In preceding cases like this the accused gots nothing more than a fine.

  5. Why is the defense requesting a six-year sentence?
    If similar offenders got one year plus a fine, why is the defence putting his client in a position where the judge will not be able to go lower than six years?

  6. ppl are just puppets, what rubashkin is going through is really a judgement in heaven, and that does not mean that he did anything wrong, rather we are the ones this sign is for, if we dont improve ourselves now, anti jew problems will worsen, we must return to hashem, we see that the davening we did helped, for it was a step toward the better, toward faith in hashem, let us keep davening and correcting our ways, this will lead to rubashkins acquittal, and the redemption of us all, it is very near, lets all be a part, “B’MHEIRAH B’YAMEINU, AMEIN”!!!!