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Rubashkin gets 27 years in surprising sentence

by Brad A. Greenberg

June 21, 2010 | 1:32 pm

I know Rubashkin was in some real trouble, but the sentencing today was more than a little surprising:

Kosher meatpacking executive Sholom Rubashkin was sentenced to 27 years in a federal prison for his conviction on federal financial fraud charges.

U.S. District Judge Linda Reade filed the sentencing memorandum Monday and will present the sentence in federal court Tuesday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Rubashkin was convicted last November on 86 counts of fraud in connection with the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa.

The prison term will be followed by five years of parole, according to Reade’s ruling. Rubashkin also will be required to make restitution of nearly $27 million to several financial institutions.

Prosecutors had requested a 25-year sentence, according to the Des Moines Register.

Rubashkin lawyer Guy Cook, noting the prosecutors’ request, called the sentence “unfair and excessive.”

“It’s essentially a life sentence for a 51-year-old man, and it’s not in the public interest,” he told the newspaper.

Rubashkin was acquitted earlier this month in an Iowa state court on 67 counts of child labor violations relating to 26 teenagers from South America who worked at the plant.

I have to agree with the kosher big beef’s lawyer, though it’s not clear when he would be eligible for parole. Hey, you do the crime, be ready to do the time. But is he being scapegoated?

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