Trump Commutes Jail Sentence of Kosher Meat Executive

By Kevin T. Higgins, Managing Editor

Jan 03, 2018

Days before the Christmas holiday, President Donald Trump commuted the prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, former CEO of defunct Agriprocessors, believed to be the U.S.’s largest kosher meat and poultry processor.

Rubashkin had served eight years of a 27-year sentence stemming from 86 counts of bank fraud and money laundering. He was also ordered to pay $31 million in restitution.

Agriprocessors entered the national spotlight in May 2008 when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided the Postville, Ia., plant and arrested 389 illegal immigrants who worked there. A few months later, the business declared bankruptcy.

The facility was purchased a year later in bankruptcy court by Hershey Friedman, owner of Montreal-based Polystar Packaging Inc., a supplier of plastic packaging materials for meat products. It now operates as Agri Star Meat and Poultry.

At a 2010 trial, Rubashkin was acquitted of 67 counts of child labor law violations involving the plant’s workforce. The Iowa Labor Commission fined the firm $10 million for labor law violations, including failure to pay employees.

The company had previously been the focus of animal welfare violations.