Rubashkin Sentence Longer than that of Enron and Tyco Execs


rubashkinAs reported here, Judge Linda Reade in Iowa announced yesterday a prison sentence of 27 years for Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin. The sentence, two years more than prosecutors had requested, was unusually high in the recent history of financial crimes – longer than the term for Jeffrey K. Skilling, the former chief executive of Enron, and L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former chief executive of Tyco.

Lawyers for Sholom Mordechai have said they would appeal the decision, challenging the interpretation of federal sentencing guidelines by Judge Linda R. Reade. The appeal will expand the controversy surrounding the case, which has already included six former United States attorneys general writing to the judge to assail the prosecutors’ logic in seeking a term that could amount to a life sentence.

The sentence also deepens the belief among many  that Sholom Mordechai was unfairly tried.

In an unusual procedure, Judge Reade, of the Northern District of Iowa, released a 52-page memorandum yesterday, a day before the scheduled sentencing hearing, in which she explained her decision. She will formally impose the sentence today.

Reade also sentenced Sholom Mordechai to pay almost $27 million in restitution.

“There was no bank robbery, he never intended to cheat or steal from anyone,” said Guy Cook, Sholom Mordechai’s defense lawyer. Mr. Cook said the term was “essentially a life sentence” for Sholom Mordechai, who is 51, and was especially difficult for Sholom Mordechai’s 10 children, one of whom is autistic.

Mr. Cook said Sholom Mordechai, who was informed of the sentence Monday morning in a county jail, had taken the news calmly. “He understands that ultimately what happens to him is in God’s hands,” Mr. Cook said.

Some Jewish leaders were not calm.

“Our community will react just as I have, with shock and disgust,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive vice president of the National Council of Young Israel. Rabbi Lerner said he would try to raise an outcry to bring attention to the appeal.

In a separate state trial in Iowa, Sholom Mordechai was acquitted earlier this month of all charges that he knowingly employed under-age workers at the Agriprocessors plant.

The federal prosecutors had originally sought a life sentence for Sholom Mordechai, but then revised their request to 25 years. Six former attorneys general, including Janet Reno and Edwin Meese III, wrote to Judge Reade in April arguing that a life sentence would be a severe misreading of the sentencing guidelines as applied to white-collar crimes.

Mr. Skilling was sentenced to 24 years, after the court found he caused losses at Enron of $80 million. Mr. Kozlowski, who was convicted of a $150 million fraud, was sentenced in state court to 8 1/3 to 25 years.

{NY Times, Agencies/Noam Newscenter}


  1. According to Jewish law a person is considered dead when the heart stops working. In other words, this heartless woman who is considered dead is waitng to be buried….

  2. Julia Preston the NYT reporter that destoyed Agriprocessors has the ‘chutzpah’ to blame non other than… Prez Bush! he write the 2008 raid “became an emblem of the Bush Admin. tough immigration enforcment stragedy”. yeah as if you Preston are an innocent bystander. besides the current federal prosecutor appointed by Obama, was the leading person in the u.s. Attorney office during the agri raid. “JUST BLAME BUSH”

  3. As I wrote yesterday,Judge Reade is the worst. No, she is not an Anti-Semite. She hates all people equally. She is below average legal scholar and follows the prosecutions recommendations almost always. The Govt could not have picked a worse judge to try the case.
    On the positive side, there is much hope for the appeal. She is the same judge who sanctioned the raid on Agri. So there is a conflict of interest issue here. Also, the extereme harshness of the sentence for a first time offender. I hope that the legal team will use these arguements. I wish I knew how to contact them. May Hashem release Shalom Rubashkin very soon and may he return to his family in good health.