Rubashkin’s Appeal and Corruption in the Courts


rubashkin1By William L. Anderson

As one who often writes about courts and prosecutorial misconduct, I must admit to having no confidence anymore in American judges having any integrity at all. One of the defining moments for me came in the Tonya Craft case in North Georgia when the judge, Brian House, literally took cues from the prosecutors during the trial, as they gave him hand signals and other indications of what he needed to do in certain situations.It should surprise no one that House desperately tried to rig a conviction, and when he received the “not guilty” verdict from jurors and read it before the verdict was read to the people in the courtroom, his face turned ashen and his expression was one of utter shock. However dishonest and sordid his actions, at least House was unable to get the jurors to vote his way; Shalom Rubashkin was not so fortunate, as his judge not only was hostile to him throughout the trial, but now we find that the judge played an important role in the prosecution of the case.

In my first article on Rubashkin’s conviction, I dealt with the charges and the sentence that Judge Linda Reade imposed on him – 27 years, which is longer than many murderers receive – and was entirely out-of-kilter with what the law is supposed to do. Readers know that I have trouble with how federal criminal law is imposed and how prosecutors can take about any action, including a legal action, and roll it into the “fraud” statutes that enable prosecutors to make their careers.

However, new documents released now demonstrate that Reade was far more involved in this case than I could have imagine, and that there is no way humanly possible for her to have done what supposedly is her job: be an impartial jurist:

A federal judge conspired with the Bush Department of Justice to plan the largest immigration raid ever in the United States, and then presided over the trial of the plant’s manager, eventually sentencing him beyond even prosecutors’ recommendation.

New documents show Linda Reade, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, was involved in the planning of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raid on the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant at least six months before it occurred in May 2008. She asked for briefings from law enforcement and went as far as to ensure the raid was conducted around her vacation schedule.

But the judge never said a word of this to the defense lawyers for Sholom Rubashkin, the Agriprocessors manager, when she presided over his trial on bank fraud. She didn’t recuse herself from the case, either.

Indeed, all through the proceedings leading up to the trial, and then during the trial itself, it was clear that Reade has utterly hostile to the defendant. Furthermore, the very notion that she played what effectively was a “law enforcement” and prosecutorial role even before Rubashkin’s kosher meat processing plant was raided automatically should have disqualified her. Furthermore, by stepping outside of her role as a judge, she opens herself to lawsuits, as she has absolute immunity only in her role as a judge, not as a law enforcement officer.

The media and the courts have framed this as a “financial fraud” case, as though Rubashkin was the Second Coming of Bernie Madoff. However, the “financial fraud” that Rubashkin committed was not “fraud” at all in the historical sense. This is what I described in my previous article:

In the case of Agriprocessors, the loan was a revolving $35 million payout that enabled the company to keep a steady cash flow, meet payroll, and pay its bills. The firm was not arrears in payment, and all indications were that the company would be able to meet its obligations to the bank.

Because the federal courts have eviscerated the ancient doctrine of mens rea, which means that prosecutors needed to prove that a person charged intended to commit a crime, intent to defraud no longer matters. In fact, one can argue that Agriprocessors did not “defraud” First Bank at all, and there are indications that the bank knew that Agriprocessors was overstating its revenues and underestimating its costs (something the federal government does every year, but never results in anyone’s arrest), but did not care because its good customer paid its bills on time. The company was profitable, and so was the bank.

That was not all, according to the feds. Apparently, certain suppliers of cattle and other things are required by a little-known (and almost never enforced) law from the 1920s to be paid within 24 hours. No one had complained about the late payments, to my knowledge; instead, it was yet another of those “legal technicalities” that federal prosecutors use when they want to convict someone on something.

Now, the bank would not have called the loan and lost all those millions had the federal government not shut down Agriprocessors. However, the government is claiming that the business itself was a $35 million fraud, as though Rubashkin were running a Ponzi scheme. (Oh, sorry, only the government is permitted to run a Ponzi program that we know as Social Security.)

Thus, the real cause of the losses was not the business practices of Rubashkin per se, but rather the way that the federal government dealt with the situation. The Bush administration wanted to make a statement to its conservative base regarding illegal immigrants being employed in the United States and it chose to make an example of Rubashkin and Agriprocessors.

Keep in mind that the feds can do the same to any business, even those businesses that absolutely operate above board in every way. Federal agents can act on false allegations (which they do all the time), raid the place, shut it down, and then claim that the entire operation was fraudulent after the company cannot pay its bills, and don’t think they don’t do this.

Federal agents have absolutely no personal stake in the success of a business or even private enterprise in general. They are in privileged positions and can extract whatever they want from people who are not so well-placed, and they do it on a regular basis. That means that if they drive legitimate businesses into bankruptcy, that is no problem to them, and if other lives are ruined and the economy sinks a little bit lower, who cares? The prosecutors and judges get their paychecks.

If anything, the revelations that Reade was involved up to her eyeballs in the Rubashkin case from the very beginning sets a new low in federal criminal law – if it is impossible for these people to sink any lower. It absolutely is clear that from the start, Reade was trying to engineer an arrest and conviction, and if she had an ounce of integrity (honest federal official, of course, is an oxymoron), she would resign immediately.

However, I am sure that Reade will go on as though nothing happened. One hopes that the appellate courts will note the misconduct, but I will not be holding my breath.

{William Anderson}



  1. What a shame this judge is to our judicial system!
    We knew this all along. We knew R’ Sholom never ever defrauded anyone! It was the judge and her cronies that did.
    They will get paid back for every ounce of aggravation they have caused this beautiful family, because the Real Judge knows the truth.


  3. As carefully presented, Linda Reade was not acting as a judge in preparation of the raid. She was acting as law enforcement, for which she has no immunity. She should NOW be sued for her criminal misdeeds. Possibly, an aggressive civil suit will have her compromise herself in its defense and then she can be prosecuted criminaly. If this can be all done quickly, she might be sentenced to prison before Sholom Mordecahi is exonerated by the Appeals Court. Judge Reade might be in the same slammer as Sholom Mordechai, only she’d be on her way in while he is on his way out. Heaven may yet design for her to have to sit in jail for the full 27 years that she sentenced Sholom Mordechai. I’ll feel real bad for her. I promise to send her postcards for x-mas every year.

  4. I applaud Mr. William Anderson for the courageous article on the behalf of justice and on the behalf of Sholom rubashkin. may god pay you for your good deeds.

  5. I have asked many times already please post the contact info where we can send letters to the Department of Justice demanding justice for Rubashkin. Lewin at the press conference said he thinks sending letter’s to AG would help. also if you can please post some talking points, so that people know what to write. thanks

  6. There is nothing more to say down here on this earth. This judge will be severely punished in many ways. Her payback is awaiting her. Look at the amount of negative ratings District Judge Hon. Linda R. Reade has got. These ratings are from all sorts of people from every religion from all across the nation. If I would have to DEFINE the words cruel and unjust, Linda R. Reade would be a perfect example. When her own day of judgment will come in the heavenly courts, she will have no one to defend her.

  7. to Again: I’m sorry to tell you the truth but in the world today (especially in America) we are not yearning for Mashiach. in order for someone to get something (ex. a baby, a shidduch, a livlihood etc…) he needs to yearn for it & cry out to Hashem.
    All of us have heard, read & seen tons of true stories of people who had their first child at 44 or had a sick child that the doctor said i’m very sorry but your daughter has only 3 hours to live & then he comes back 2 hours later & says its really a miracle but your child is beginning to recover. Why is it that they finally had a child & the child recovered? Its a Pasuk we say 3 times a day in Davening. Hashem is close to all who call to him, to all who call out truthfully. (Tehillim 145)Because they cried out from their heart, they really meant what they were saying when they davened to H-shem to have a baby or for his daughter to recover etc…. theres a reason we call Hashem, Avinu She’bashamayim (our father in heaven) Hashem loves us from a father to a son. If we really cried out for mashiach from our heart with truth & show that we are missing it, then we wouldn’t still be in Golus today.

  8. It’s nice to see that it’s not just the ‘Frum Oilam’ that noticed these goings on. As far as retribution, only Hashem can make a proper and complete accounting for the damage she has caused to so many, in so many areas.

  9. At, in Comment #9, I pointed out the following frightening observation; it is quite an important insight, which certainly should be repeated here.

    Matzav and the other Bnei Torah news services who have been covering the Rusbashkin case have reported in detail how our plan now for the case is to appeal it to a higher Federal Court, and if necessary, take it to the Supreme Court. For our strategy is that, Im Yirtza HaShem, the higher Federal Courts will be above all the blind hatred, lies, manipulations, and political agendas of Mr. Rubashkin’s detractors, and will instead, look at him with a clear view of basic simple truth and justice.

    We have to seriously ponder though, who are the judges who are sitting in these higher level Federal Courts (whom we are assuming will have a clear view of truth and justice)? Now, just of this last Shabbos, one of them happens to be a new judge — a new judge on the Supreme Court itself. Her name is Miss. Elena Kagan. Yes, Miss. Elena Kagan is now one of the judges at the very top of the U.S. Judicial System, and at least one or two or three or more of the other judges (on both the Supreme Court and on the lower appellate courts) are people who will be greatly impressed and influenced by Miss. Kagan’s ideas and arguments.

    So, we need to ask this crucial question: how would Miss. Elena Kagan, judge Mr. Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin?

    2a.) Before we even talk about the Rubashkin case itself though, we have to think about another very serious problem, which is currently threatening the whole country in general and our Torah communities in particular: that of Toeiva “rights” and, specifically, Toeiva “marriage.” For, Miss. Kagan is a woman with a severely far left almost revolutionary orientation, which includes a rabid fanatical support of the most extreme Toeiva issues.

    (For detail, see:

    Now, of course, Mr. Rubashkin is a fully staunchly devout Torah observant Jew, an excellent Ben Torah as a Lubavitcher Chossid. So, he well knows and believes what the Torah teaches all of us about Toeiva, that Toeiva is something that is extremely terrible. His mentor, the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, ZT’L, was a major Jewish leader who strongly fought against the (then) emerging Toeiva rights movement. Now, if Mr. Rubashkin were to meat a Toeiva person, he would not necessarily be mean or abrupt to him. On the contrary, he very likely would be very nice to him, as, in a very nice way, he would probably try to get the guy to realize how so totally sick and depraved this Toeiva thingy is and to thus convince him to stop these wicked Toeiva ways. Needless to say, such “niceness” — Rubashkin style — is not exactly the niceness and the acceptence and the equal rights that the Toeiva people want!

    There is no question about it. In the eyes of Miss. Elena Kagan, Mr. Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin is a man who does discriminate — yes, Mr. Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin is a man who DOES discriminate against Toeiva people!!

  10. (continuation of previous comment)

    2b.) Regarding the Rubashkin case itself, there is a certain biographical fact that could give us quite a frightening chill. It was earlier related here at, paragraph 17, how with regards to her Judaism, Miss. Kagan currently identifies herself as “Conservative.”

    [These words are certainly a good bit totally confusing! The word “conservative” means the act of keeping to the old traditional ways; thus in the political arena, the “conservatives” refer to those on the far right and often the far religious right. In the Jewish scene though, the word refers to something else entirely. Soon after the Reform Movement began its radical liberal program of changing and discarding much of true Judaism, another group began. It had basically a similar philosophy of changing Judaism, but to be done in a way that was no where near as radically and as rapidly as was being done by the Reform. It was thus called the “Conservative Movement.” (So, in a political sense, in the Jewish scene, the “Conservatives” were often thought of as the “moderates” — ie. those who tried to make a “middle road” between the steadfast ways of the Orthodox and the liberal ways of the Reform.) (Interestingly, those who held to the old ways of fully keeping to our Torah, were never called “conservatives”; instead, the Reformers threw at them an even more fanatic sounding word of “Orthodox”! However, once the Reformers threw at us this insult of being “Orthodox,” then, on the contrary, we took the term and, to this day, we carry it with great pride.)

    For many years, in their observances, the Conservatives SEEMED to be doing pretty much the same thing as us Orthodox. However, as said above, their inner philosophy was pretty much the same as Reform, and thus slowly but surely, their changes came more and more and more. Today, the observances of the Conservatives are quite different from the true Torah ways, which includes that they have fully embraced the extreme leftist social agendas of abortion rights, men and women being the same, Toeiva rights, etc.]

    We need to keep in mind that it was the Conservative Movement that recently started this whole business of changing and revamping the whole Torah rules of Kosher food standards with its new program called “Hechsher Tzedek.” We need to further keep in mind that it was people of this Hechsher Tzedek program who so treacherously took active part in the public chorus of outright lies and defamation that helped cruelly bash down Mr. Rubashkin and the Agriprocessors company.

    With Miss. Kagan’s extreme radical leftist orientation, and with her Jewish Conservative affiliation, what would be her attitude toward this man, Mr. Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin, who directed a very large Kosher meat & poultry producing operation, which staunchly adhered to the strict ORTHODOX Halachos of Kashrus, empathetically rejected the whole program of the Reform/Conservative’s new “Hechsher Tzedek” changes, and was thus targeted by the Hechsher Tzedek people for vehement condemnation?

  11. Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin is a person that devoted his life to 2 things , charity , building up a community in iowa which he and his father accomplished.What the goverment did they destroyed a town,and put 800 families out of work and at least 200 yiddisha families to poverty.The goverment does not care the after affects,they only wanted to put agriprocessors out of business. ::JEW HATERS::
    The question is why: SMR was paying the bank notes on time.Sure when the goverment closed him down they were broke.Agriprocessors was doing 300 million dollar a year in business and they were very profitable. I don’t believe for one second when you run such a large operation the director of the company knows who is employed at his plant.People should know that Judge reade was involved in 2 or 3 cases with aggiprocessor before the raid I read judge reade cases.The way i see it she was out to get him big time and just think for one minute this raid costed the goverment 5 million dollars and they had to make sure they got something out of it.The judege was not supposed to know anything about the case. This proves that she was involved in raiing the place,arresting over 300 people and puting 800 people in the poor house.
    This judge must be severely punished
    by court system and then by hashem.