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Rubashkin to be Sentenced to 27 Years in Federal Prison

IOWA — Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin will be sentenced to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $31 million restitution when he’s sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Supporters of Rubashkin expressed outrage after the announcement. The sentence is inconsistent with calls from legal community for judge to avoid disparity of justice.

Sentencing Memorandum for 27 Years in Federal Penitentiary

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade issued a sentencing memorandum Monday outlining the sentence she will impose on Sholom Rubashkin during Tuesday’s hearing in Cedar Rapids. Reade indicated in the document she would not impose a fine.

Rubashkin’s attorney Guy Cook says the sentence is unfair and excessive that that Rubashkin’s conviction and sentencing will be appealed.

Supporters of Sholom Rubashkin Outraged by Excessive Prison Sentence

Family, friends and supporters of Sholom Rubashkin expressed outrage Monday after the federal court announced a sentence of 27 years in prison for Rubashkin for his bank fraud conviction. The sentence is greater than the amended recommendation from prosecutors, and is inconsistent with calls from throughout the legal community for Rubashkin to be sentenced in a manner similar to other men and women convicted of white-collar crimes.

“The sentence is greater than necessary, indeed, it is greater than what the government asked for,” said Guy Cook, a member of Rubashkin’s legal defense team. “It is unfair and excessive, essentially a life sentence for a 51-year-old man, and is not in the public interest.”

The Hon. Bob Barr announced Monday that Rubashkin will appeal the verdict and the sentence.

“This sentence is inconsistent with the overwhelming view of the legal community, including six former U.S. attorneys general, who have all said a first-time, non-violent offense does not warrant a multi-decade sentence,” Barr said. “The court’s sentence today is even more than prosecutors asked for, which is a very disturbing development.”

Rubashkin’s attorneys had asked the court to impose a sentence no greater than 72 months, noting his positive history and character and his extraordinary family circumstances. They emphasized that Rubashkin’s conduct was not done for personal gain, that he did not intend any loss to the bank, and that a 72-month sentence would allow the Bureau of Prisons to place Rubashkin in a facility with experience in effectively and humanely incarcerating observant Jewish inmates.

Prosecutors, however, recommended 25 years in prison for Rubashkin. The extreme recommendation sparked outrage amongst legal scholars, with more than two dozen former senior Justice Department officials – including six former U.S. attorneys general – criticizing the prosecutors’ recommendation in a letter to Judge Reade. Rubashkin also garnered support from a wide array of political, legal and community leaders, who expressed dismay at the potential for Rubashkin to receive such a harsh sentence.

“It is heartbreaking to see the judge and the prosecution make an example out of Sholom Rubashkin at the expense of his family and his community,” said his wife, Leah. “What has happened today is inconsistent with the idea of equal justice under the law. All we have asked is that he be treated the same as everyone else.”

Rubashkin’s sentence is particularly harsh when compared to others convicted of similar crimes. Mark Turkcan, the president of First Bank Mortgage of St. Louis, who misapplied $35 million in loans, resulting in a loss of approximately $25 million, was recently sentenced by a federal judge in Missouri to one year and one day in prison.

The Rubashkin family and its supporters remain committed to pursuing all avenues towards a fair sentence, including appeal. They continue to call on the Justice Department to investigate the pattern of overzealous prosecution in the Rubashkin case, which included the life sentence recommendation.

“The way this case was handled may go down in history as a permanent stain on American justice,” said Nathan Lewin, an attorney overseeing Rubashkin’s appeal. “Sholom Rubashkin has been targeted by prosecutors in Iowa from the very beginning, and has been treated unlike other similar defendants. We have asked, and continue to ask, the Justice Department to review the numerous instances of prosecutors stepping outside the bounds of standard and decent conduct in this case.”

In addition to the uncharacteristically severe sentence recommendation, Rubashkin has been subjected to numerous instances of harsh or disparate treatment by prosecutors and the government. The Agriprocessors meatpacking plant he oversaw was subjected to a military style raid in May 2008, which had disastrous effects on the Postville community and could have been avoided if Immigrations and Customs Enforcement had agreed to the plant’s offer to cooperate.

After the raid, Rubashkin was subjected to seven superseding indictments and denied bail before trial because of claims by prosecutors that he could flee to Israel because he is Jewish. While Rubashkin was eventually released on bail after no sufficient evidence was found that he was a flight risk, Rubashkin was again denied bail before sentencing and deemed a “flight risk.”

And before trial, the District Judge severed the trial of the 72 immigration violations in the Seventh Superseding Indictment from the 91 bank-fraud charges. Nonetheless, contending that he committed bank fraud when he represented to the bank that Agri was complying with the law, the Iowa prosecutors presented more than two days of highly inflammatory testimony regarding the immigration allegations during the bank-fraud trial. The District Judge denied repeated defense requests for a mistrial.

Rubashkin was cleared by a jury last month of having personal knowledge of, and criminal liability for, the employment of minors at Agriprocessors. That was the only case brought to trial on Rubashkin’s involvement in the hiring practices of Agriprocessors. The federal charges that he was involved in hiring illegal immigrants have been dismissed.


  • 1. I Want to see Justice! wrote:

    I preys to G-d that he gives Judge Linda Reade change in heart like he gave Paroah when he said he’d let the jews go and then he changed his heart, just here it has to be the other way around! LET Rabbi Sholom Mordechai Ben Rivka Halevi FREE!! FREE FREE FREE!!!

  • 2. DR. LEVI A. REITER wrote:

    How is such injustice possible in this, “THE MEDINA SHEL CHESED?”

    Such blatant antisemitism should be decried publically by the administration. If it does not do so, then we may be smelling the coffee…..regarding how the president feels about the Jewish People.


  • 5. tracht gut! un DAVEN!!! wrote:

    lest stop using the “to be sentenced” sentence. it sounds hopeless… say “court case deciding etc….”

  • 7. Even the prosecutors are SHOCKED!!!! wrote:

    The prosecutors only asked for 25!!!!!

    lets hope the “chalera” judge drops dead before the official sentencing.

  • 8. mendell beailess wrote:

    “ ahtem kruiem adam ” look on voiz nias already 80 comments ..we r one …..aodam is singular we r one united ..look how the rest of klall yisroal are writing about sholm mordecahi all of the yiden are one on this topic and are daving together as one ..hashem help

  • 9. torontonian wrote:

    listen, hashem likes to test us in these times, and if we stand strong then even a day b4 the sentencing everything will be changed.

  • 10. concerned wrote:

    We all have what to improve in our avodas H. But what seems to me a glaring fault is that the Mesira is still in a dormant state in the court system and the Vaad that was voted out of office is resisting acceptance of the Psak of R. Rosenbergs Bais Din. Remember we are all connected.

  • 12. Shomrim Six wrote:

    And in crown Heights we have fellow Yidden attempting to lock up other fellow Yidden.

    How sad!



  • 15. A Optomist wrote:

    After reading this article I was about to throw up and get depressed, but after much contemplation I realize that this is god’s way of saying to us “you did’nt do enough, just a little more”.
    Listen, we saw how he was acquitted on all the child labor charges, that was a certainly a turn out from all the good deeds that people were doing in his honor.

    My dear freinds: You can be a simple Bocher in Yeshiva, or a (respected) Vaad Hakohel Candidate, Just please do one more good deed, small things is what is gonna bring moshiach!

    Sholom , I never saw you or even had a one word exchange, but I am telling you that you have affected my life more than you can imagine, I truly belive your suffering will come to an end!


  • 16. stop what you are doing... wrote:

    And Say tihilim…Now

    Remember that we will win at the end…


  • 17. how! wrote:

    its because of all the machlokes we habve if we would be in peace here it woudnt happen!

  • 18. yom alef wrote:

    Might as well use this site for something good- I’ll say yom alef in tehillim, my son is saying yom beis. PLease pick up on this and let’s complete the tehillim.

  • 19. The Judge is Clearly Anti-Semitic!!! wrote:

    We should all march in the streets and create a huge turmoil!!!

  • 20. how! wrote:

    its because of all the machlokes we habve if we would be in peace here it woudnt happen!

  • 21. sad sad sad wrote:

    and here is what it says in the ruling:
    In light of the foregoing, the court finds that the appropriate sentence is 324 months
    of imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release. Defendant shall be required
    to pay restitution as follows: (1) $18,525,362.88 to FBBC; (2) $8,322,989.12. to MBFB;
    and (3) $3,800.51 to Waverly Sales, Inc. Defendant shall not be required to pay a fine.

  • 22. help! wrote:

    maybe if we stop fighting over 770 and have ahavas yisroel, It’ll help Rubashkin. This is HORIBBLE! it’s a holocaust! we need to make a public outcry infront of the whitehouse or somewhere else. Myabe we can contact the whitehouse at… would it help?

  • 23. esther wrote:

    is it true that an emissary went to obama to intervene
    and he refused. Hashem yerachaim on this wonderful
    family full of chesed. One thing that came out of this
    scenario is the achdus that has been shown by all
    yiden no matter to whichever place they hang their hat.

  • 27. Miriam P. wrote:

    Me and my family members will say from Yom Hey to Yom Assar (Kapitelach 29 through and including 55).
    Hashem should help that we should hear ONLY GOOD NEWS!!!

  • 28. ceo wrote:

    hashem Yishmor, what hatred in this world.
    HaShem should help everyone pull together and overcome this horrific antisemetic injustice.

  • 29. Arnan wrote:

    This magistrate did the equivalent of what zyklon B did to my

    Shame. Shame.

    This is a death sentence.
    Shame. Shame

  • 31. Get rid of the mossrim wrote:

    maybe wake up and smell the coffee
    tehilim is very nice . but how many of you came out to defend
    shomrim 6 ? 6 of our brothers were perscuted for 2 years. the terorists who accupy the chjcc wanted to send them for 15 years hyl“t and god saved them .
    i didnt see so much outcry just a short 7 months ago.
    all this tzadikim who cry now i dont belive you its all lip service no one care for a brother or sister in the crown heights neighborhood.
    just as a reminder MOSHE RUBSHKIN was vaad hakohol when the blood libel started against shomrim. Huebner ym”s whent in to 71 pct on may 11 2008 with the 2nd mesirah just hours before the rubashkin truble started . did vaad hakohol do anything ?

    what the lips services now oh yes you say tehilim and than go out and hurt another jew ?

    stop all this stupid nonesense and start doing good dids help a fellow jew ask your nighbor how you can help in this bed financial times . ask how many kids are not going to camp ? (in williamsburg no kis was sent home bacouse his perents didnt have funds to pay the yeshivas)
    ask how many families can’t go to the country ?
    start doing and god will help the jews.
    and yes get rid of the mossrim from the vaad hakohol .

  • 32. Belive in miracles! wrote:

    I believe there will be a miracle tomorrow on yud tammuz!!! we must pray and believe in it!!
    Say Tehillim 53, Pada vshalom nafshi!

  • 34. The last hope wrote:

    The last hope is a presidential pardon. A writing campaign and the D.C. Chabad could be helpful.

  • 36. observer wrote:

    Clearly the judge is trying to make an example out of him to show other frum yidden than if you scam your life will be ruined

  • 39. Mendy Hecht wrote:

    Seems pretty clear to me that G-d wants us Jews to whip ourselves into unified shape regardless of what R’ Sholom’s ultimate verdict is–especially as we approach the Three Weeks. Let’s march in unified, and with G-d’s help, we’ll march out unified–once and forever.

  • 40. Chaya M wrote:

    I guess I’ll do yom hey and my sister will do yom vuv.

    On a separate note, I don’t understand why Judge Reade is back. Wasn’t she disqualified because she was prejudiced? How could she be let back. What’s more disturbing, if Obama really refused to intervene, what was his reason?

    On a third note: The bais hamikdash was destroyed due to sinas chinum. how can we get moshiach and have the bais hamikdash rebuilt if we’re not taking any measures to keep it going/up?

  • 41. Freddie wrote:

    Rubashkin should be allowed to live free in Israel. What a travesty of American justice.

  • 43. Belive in miracles! wrote:

    I believe there will be a miracle tomorrow on yud tammuz!!! we must pray and believe in it!!
    Say Tehillim 53, Pada vshalom nafshi!

  • 44. This may be a blessing in discize wrote:

    This outragious sentence by this crazy judge may help show overzelous disparate perseqution. If it were reasonable it would show be less outragious. She is not the top 10 most stringent sentencing judges for nothing. She is literaly nuts to go over the requested 25 years for a white colar crime with no intent or personal gain.

  • 46. Hashem yerachem 2 wrote:

    Completed perakim 56-59(from yom yud)and also did yom yud alef. May Hashem answer our tefilos!

  • 47. Esther wrote:

    With Hashem’s help Haman will fall for Mordechai.
    Tfilas Rabim Kel Kabir Lo Yimas.
    Bsuros Tovos of Didan Notzach Now!!!

  • 48. Esther wrote:

    Anti semitic Hamans are climbing for a great fall.
    May we hear good news. Now!!!

  • 49. Bad advise? wrote:

    Bad advise?

    “There were negotiations — an offer was put on the table,” Hecht said. “He had to refuse the offer because compared to what he did wrong, they were asking for too much. There was no way that a man should give the prime of his life away.”

  • 51. looks like everyones doing yom hey wrote:

    ppl: read what others are doing first!

  • 52. CN wrote:

    The judge sounds very stupid. How does she possibly expect him to be able to make restitution of $31 million if he is in prison. Does she think Jews keep that much stashed under the matress?

  • 54. Chaya M (and to #50) wrote:

    -The reason that everyone said that they’re doing yom hey, is because it took some time for the posts to go up. People who were following up on the comments, didn’t see anyone doing yom hey so they volunteered to say it.
    -For how long are we saying the tehillim?
    -For now I’ll do yom yud bais, unless someone takes it before me

  • 55. NOBODY KNOWS... wrote:


    The only thing WE can do, – is to do more GOOD DEEDS and add in acts of KINDNESS.

    That’s the only thing WE can do.

    And may it be Hashem’s will, that he answer our prayers, and in his infinite kindness and mercy, open the gates of heaven and of mercy to Sholom Mordechai Halevi Ben Rivka and free him from his plight

  • 56. My Goodness wrote:

    27 years? That’s unbelievable.
    Sholom Rubashkin will definitely be in my prayers.
    IY”H they’ll give him a smaller sentence or even drop the case!

  • 57. Yosef Jaffe wrote:

    G-d bless Rubashkin! He shall be freed from prison within right this minute! Not later! I hope the appeal will be acceptable for a better and good reason with only good news!

  • 58. making an example wrote:

    Rubashkin’s trial has been about money and the ruling is about making an example of a Jewish family man who lived a modest lifestyle, welcomed people into his home, built up the local community around him and klal yisroel. When a judge sentences him for longer than the prosecutors requested and orders him to pay more in restitution than the bank claims it lost, that’s going above and beyond. I don’t know if Reade is anti-Semitic and regardless, when someone is made an example of that’s the opposite of justice.

  • 60. ya right wrote:

    um i dont think parading in front of the white house and protesting will do anything to make a kiddush hashem and help rubashkin… obama dosnt care anyhow


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