IA Slaughterhouse Spik Lover On Trial In Sioux Falls

RubashkinNearly 70 supporters of an Iowa slaughterhouse executive crowded the federal courthouse in Sioux Falls Tuesday. Forty-nine-year-old Shalom Rubashkin is facing 72 counts of employing illegal aliens, as well as 91 counts of fraud.

Rubashkin was Vice President of the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa, the site of what is believed to be the largest immigration raid in U.S. history.

The trial was moved to Sioux Falls from Iowa because of pre-trial publicity. The first of two trials deals with millions of dollars in bank fraud and money laundering charges. In the second trial, Rubashkin faces dozens of counts of employing illegal aliens.

Rubashkin will be spending the next two months at the federal courthouse in Sioux Falls as he and his attorneys navigate the legal proceedings that lie ahead. But plenty of supporters have followed the former Iowa slaughterhouse executive to Sioux Falls; dozens of Rubashkin's friends and family sat in the courtroom and in an overflow room as jurors were questioned for his bank fraud trial Tuesday.

In that case, Rubashkin allegedly gave false statements to his bank about the $35 million line of credit he had with them. Rubashkin was also not paying livestock producers on time, which is against federal laws.

He is also standing trial in Sioux Falls for one of the largest immigration raids in the United States. On May 12, 2008, federal authorities arrested 389 illegal aliens at the Agriprocessors plant in Iowa. Rubashkin is charged with paying the illegal workers in cash so they wouldn't show up on the company's books, placing the employees on the payroll of another business and encouraging the workers to get fake I.D.'s.

Attorneys questioned 58 potential jurors Tuesday and have seated 16 jurors. Opening statements in the federal fraud case are scheduled to start Wednesday.

The fraud case is expected to last up to six weeks; the immigration case will follow and is also expected to last up to six weeks.


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