Daily Israel Report

Former Agriprocessors Manager Arrested in Israel

Israeli authorities have arrested a former poultry production manager from the Agriprocessors meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 4/14/2011, 4:28 PM / Last Update: 4/14/2011, 5:26 PM

Israel news photo

Israeli authorities have arrested a former poultry production manager from the Agriprocessors meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa.

Hosam Amara, 46, allegedly fled from the U.S. to Israel after 389 illegal immigrants were rounded up during a May 2008 raid at the plant by U.S. Immigration authorities. He was taken into custody in Israel March 31 by immigration authorities due to an extradition request from the U.S. government.

According to prosecutors quoted by The New York Times, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cedar Rapids plans to charge Amara with harboring illegal immigrants.

Agriprocessors was the largest kosher meat packing plant in the United States. It produced glatt kosher meat, chicken, turkey, duck and lamb products under the Aaron's Best, Rubashkins and other labels. The firm was founded and owned by Aaron Rubashkin, and managed by his two sons, Sholom and Heshy Rubashkin. The plant stopped operating in October 2008, following the immigration raid in May, and filed for bankruptcy on November 5 of the same year.

Sholom Rubashkin was convicted of federal financial fraud, for which he was sentenced to 27 years in prison on June 2010 and ordered to pay $31 million in restitution.

Termed an “unfair and excessive and essentially a life sentence for a 51-year-old man” by his attorney, Guy Cook, it raised eyebrows among lawmakers and adjudicators alike. The sentence was two years longer than that sought by prosecutors, and considered unusually tough compared to those of high-profile white-collar criminals such as Enron's Jeffrey Skilling and Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski.

A second member of Rubashkin's legal team noted that most of the murderers he had prosecuted had received shorter sentences. Cook told reporters last month that he would file an appeal.