President Trump Commutes Sentence of Man Serving 27 Years for Bank Fraud

President Trump Commutes Sentence of Man Serving 27 Years for Bank Fraud

Sholom Rubashkin, an orthodox Jew, owned the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa and was sentenced in 2009 to 27 years in prison for bank fraud.

A father of 10, Rubashkin was the chief executive overseeing the slaughterhouse and headquarters for a family business that was then the largest kosher meat-processing company in the United States.

Rubashkins sentence of 27 years, handed down in 2010, was shockingly severe after a prosecution that took on, in the eyes of many, a vindictive tone.

The Daily News reported Rubashkin was first arrested in 2008, after the Department of Justice and Immigration and Customs enforcement raided the Iowa plant and arrested nearly 400 undocumented immigrants.

The president's action, which is not a presidential pardon, was encouraged by bipartisan leaders.

Unlike the case of Arpaio, whom a judge had found guilty of contempt in a case involving racial profiling, Trump's latest action leaves Rubashkin's conviction intact, as well as terms of his supervised release from federal prison and his obligation to make restitution.

"A bipartisan group of more than 100 former high-ranking and distinguished Department of Justice (DOJ) officials, prosecutors, judges, and legal scholars have expressed concerns about the evidentiary proceedings in Mr. Rubashkin's case and the severity of his sentence", the White House statement read.

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Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former FBI Director Louis Freeh were among those long advocating for his release, claiming that he was a victim of an improper prosecution and tainted testimony.

The raid on the Agriprocessors plant and Rubashkin's arrest led to the plant's temporary closure, with numerous town's Jews leaving.

Rubashkin served his sentence in Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville in Mount Hope, New York, where services are provided to religious Jewish inmates.

"The sentence previously imposed was unfair, unjust and essential a life sentence", he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump waves after he spoke to members of the White House Press Corps prior to his Marine One departure from the South Lawn of the White House December 15, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Billionaire Hershey Friedman of Montreal purchased the meatpacking plant in 2009 and rebranded it as Agri Star Meat and Poultry.

One of those prosecutors, former assistant US attorney in Iowa Robert Teig, told the Des Moines Register that Rubashkin "couldn't win legally, factually or morally, so he had to win politically".

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