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December 11, 2008

BREAKING! GOVERNMENT MOVES TO SEIZE AGRIPROCESSORS PROPERTY, CORPORATE NAME, ALL PROCEEDS FROM ILLEGAL ACTIVITY

Details:

UPDATE POSTED BELOW.

Please click to enlarge.

Us Attorney Rubashkin 12-11-08

UPDATE

Here is how the US Department Of Justice describes the forfeiture program:

Asset Forfeiture Program

The Department of Justice's Asset Forfeiture Program is a nationwide law enforcement program that continues to be an effective and powerful strategy in the fight against crime.

Purpose: The primary mission of the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program is to employ asset forfeiture powers in a manner that enhances public safety and security. This is accomplished by removing the proceeds of crime and other assets relied upon by criminals and their associates to perpetuate their criminal activity against our society. Asset forfeiture has the power to disrupt or dismantle criminal organizations that would continue to function if we only convicted and incarcerated specific individuals.

Scope: The Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program encompasses the seizure and forfeiture of assets that represent the proceeds of, or were used to facilitate federal crimes. Forfeiture may proceed under either administrative or judicial processes. Further, the DOJ program applies only to cases developed by enforcement officials in certain agencies of the Federal Government.

State and local government agencies and some international law enforcement agencies may have similar efforts, operating under the authority of international, local or state laws. Those efforts are not part of the US Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program.


Types of Forfeiture

Criminal forfeiture is an action brought as a part of the criminal prosecution of a defendant. It is an in personam (against the person) action and requires that the government indict (charge) the property used or derived from the crime along with the defendant. If the jury finds the property forfeitable, the court issues an order of forfeiture.

For forfeitures pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO), as well as money laundering and obscenity statutes, there is an ancillary hearing for third parties to assert their interest in the property. Once the interests of third parties are addressed, the court issues a final forfeiture order.

Civil judicial forfeiture is an in rem (against the property) action brought in court against the property. The property is the defendant and no criminal charge against the owner is necessary.

Administrative forfeiture is an in rem action that permits the federal seizing agency to forfeit the property without judicial involvement. The authority for a seizing agency to start an administrative forfeiture action is found in the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. § 1607. Property that can be administratively forfeited is: merchandise the importation of which is prohibited; a conveyance used to import, transport, or store a controlled substance; a monetary instrument; or other property that does not exceed $500,000 in value.

[Hat Tips: Jeff Abbas, Postville Radio KPVL FM, for the press release, FirstGenerationBavarianAmerican for the DOJ forfeiture links.]

Comments

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Shmarya, come on. The press release emphasises that the action is "merely an accusation". As such, you should have used the word "alleged" in your headline.

Why didn't you? Be a Mentsh.

In a converstation about workers rights, a Rabbi selling kosher meat was heard to say:

"I, like Sampson, thousands slay"

"You're right" said the goy, "and so you do and with the self same weapon too!"

Do they realize they are bankrupt?? Will this force them into a Chapter 7 and stop the plant completely? Will this be a host of other problems for the town of Postville? It doesn't look good for anyone, the Feds are going to create another mess for Postville and they don't give a shit. Can you say very high taxes for Postville residents?? Deflated home values? Who is going to take care of these 200+ homes owned by Rubashkin when they are seized by the Feds? I belive the Nevel Investments the Rubashkins have will fall into this also. These were homes rented to the hispanics when they worked for Agriprocessors.

Thanks again for the great coverage. Take a look at this link regarding Postville Pastors and their appeal for congressional intervention.

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20081211/iowa-pastors-plead-for-immigration-raid-reform.htm

When I first heard about this whole thing, I knew it was going to be BIG. I hope some real live legal expert can interpret for us what this all means. Off the top of my head, this may be an effort to get at the assets of the owners of Agriprocessors that are presently shielded by bankruptcy law.

What I am bewildered about is who would put in a bid at the bankruptcy court for this company?

What the US Attorney's Office needs to do is issue another press release discussing what the ramifications of this indictment are to the economy of the Postville area and to the temporary spot shortages of Kosher meat nationwide.

How does this affect operations right now? If they seize everything than the plant can not operate. Am I correct and this or did I misread??

Is this a move to pressure the bankruptcy court to move proceedings to Iowa? What does this mean for tomorrow's (Dec. 12) bankruptcy hearing in New York? Isn't the trusteed going to ask for an extension to continue operation of the plant through Jan. 9?

Is this a move to pressure the bankruptcy court to move proceedings to Iowa? What does this mean for tomorrow's (Dec. 12) bankruptcy hearing in New York? Isn't the trusteed going to ask for an extension to continue operation of the plant through Jan. 9?

I think it means no one will buy Agriprocessors or its component parts until the case over.

That could take years.

In other words, no sale, no operation, no plant – no Postville.

The federal government must be authorized by statute to seize property in the event of a criminal conviction, so they are probably just keeping their options open. Whether or not they actually seize the assets if and when there is a conviction is an open question. Shmarya is correct though, that no one will ever buy these assets while there is a chance the feds will seize them one day.

I'm curious to see the actual modified indictment. If anyone comes across it, please post. There are many questions about the potential forfeiture and how it will affect the bankruptcy process.

+ Posted by: FirstGenerationBavarianAmerican | December 11, 2008 at 07:42 PM +


I feel that this post has some merit.

This move may be a effort to get all of Rubashkins' property and financial wealth into Federal hands, so that the majority of the debts owed to the cattlemen, former/present workers, and creditors in the Bankruptcy documentation can be paid.

This move may be a effort to get all of Rubashkins' property and financial wealth into Federal hands, so that the majority of the debts owed to the cattlemen, former/present workers, and creditors in the Bankruptcy documentation can be paid.

That is not how the system operates.

Sage, the government can't take the property until a conviction which could take a while. I'm not sure the company can survive (especially with the threat of forfeiture over its head) until conviction.

Plus, you have a much higher view of the government than I do if you think their plan is to get the assets so they can pay creditors or the workers.

Trish Mehaffey of the Cedar Rapids Gazette has written an article titled: "Agriprocessors May Have to Forfeit Name If Convicted".

http://www.gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081211/NEWS/712119909/1001/NEWS

Does that clarify anything? It's interesting to see each reporter's slant on the same press release.

postville is not only looking like an appalachian company coal town nightmare but also like the fall saigon.
this is a daily nightmare for the folks there. some of whom are beyond reason in their support of the the return of agri.

I don't beleive it will mean the end of Agriprocessors production.What it will mean profits from operations may be seized.

And any liquid assets may be seized over and above capital for mainyaing operations.

As to the Justic Departmenst lack of concern for the debtors, I don't thin that is true.

If you read the entire blog on the Director of Sy SYms School of Buisness the feds did in fact are moving for control of all the assets in the company so no further damage will happen to the investors.

Shmyra:

I disagree with you. I think this will help the trsutee unify title to assets and deliver good tittle to a new investor group.

Trish Mehaffey of the Cedar Rapids Gazette has written an article titled: "Agriprocessors May Have to Forfeit Name If Convicted".

http://www.gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081211/NEWS/712119909/1001/NEWS

Does that clarify anything? It's interesting to see each reporter's slant on the same press release.

Each reporter is saying the same thing.

Shmyra:

I disagree with you. I think this will help the trsutee unify title to assets and deliver good tittle to a new investor group.

A year or two from now – not before.

And the feds will "own" the assets, not bankruptcy court.

Each reporter is saying the same thing.

She writes that individuals may also have to forfeit property. That seems to be unclear at this point – although it is very possibly correct.

Even the Justice Department's Asset Forfeiture Program has a web site:
http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/afp/

++ Even the Justice Department's Asset Forfeiture Program has a web site:
http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/afp/

Posted by: FirstGenerationBavarianAmerican | December 12, 2008 at 06:07 AM ++


Thank you FGBA.

Would recommend that all posters go to the link and read in depth. This will help put the latest action in more clearer focus.

Would recommend that all posters go to the link and read in depth. This will help put the latest action in more clearer focus.

You can find those links and the pertinent text in the updated section of this post.

FORFITURE: HOW UNUSUAL
This is highly unusual. Did they go after Swift and other employers of illegal aliens similarly situated with total asset forfeiture actions?

Does this announcement sound the death knell, in effect, for efforts to sell and revive the Postville operation? Who in their right mind would bid for these assets when the feds are claiming them? This press release essentially makes Agriprocessors and all of its assets WORTHLESS during the pendency of the forfeiture claim.

(I cannot recall whether a criminal asset forfeiture is superior to other claims for debts owed, but I think it well may be. Forfeitures are, after all, actions in rem -- the assets themselves are tainted by virtue of the criminal activity, and are thefore forfeited or escheated to the state. If so, the feds are saying that they, in effect, will be paid instead of all other creditors, including employees, suppliers, banks, Postville, the State of Iowa, etc.)

{It is one matter to prosecute a forfeiture action against a narcotrafficker or criminal cartel. But to extend this to an otherwise legal industrial company that offends is extraordinary. Does the local US Attorney really want to become, in effect, the receiver and trustee for Agriprocessors business operations or for its clearly complicated wind-up? One might recall that when IRS seized a Nevada brothel some years ago, it has to preserve and maintain it by hiring operators to run it!)

Why are the feds going after Agriprocessors with what is essentially a "company death penalty" when they haven't done the same for others accused and even convicted of the same offenses?

Apparenty ICE has picked the Rubashkins for a show trial prosecution to set an example and instill fear among employers in the larger industrial community. But unable to see the larger, macroeconomic forest beyond the prosecutorial and investigative trees, the local feds have cast a dramatic shadow on the very concept of industrial private property, and have through their lack of foresight (or lack of oversight) caused economic ruin for an entire town which must now suffer because the prosecutors proceed incautiously.

I wonder: to what extent can the local-yokle feds in Iowa institute novel prosecution methodologies and applications on their own? And to what extent must they defer to and consult with their bosses in the Justice Dept in Washington?

I am beginning to surmise that in the wake of the US Attorney removal and other scandals that plagued the Bush legal regime, the powers-that-be in Washington are being ever more careful and cautious -- and absent -- in their direction of national legal policy with regard to local US Attorneys. This may well be the explanation for the spate of "cowboy" prosecutions and investigations (Spitzer, Patrick Fitzgerald, etc.) that we have seen of late.

I suspect that the prosecutors also want to enhance or maintain a level of hype and hysteria similar to what has emanated from the highly dramatic raids that were billed as the biggest ever. They have proceded with the filing of charges in a piecemeal fashion so as to maxmimize publicity for each Sholom Rubashkin arrest and for each legal event that can be played for publicity.

This is clearly a case being tried in the media as well as the courtroom. The ONLY REASON to send out a press release announcing the forfeiture filing is to get the news media to report it!


This could not come at a worse time for Genack and his cronies, who participated in the YU Forum this week.

If the Feds determine, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Rubashkins were running a criminal enterprise, then the OU and others, who were certifying their plants, may be also criminally liable as well.

That the OU recently placed its certification on Rubashkin South American production, while Rubashkin was in Bankruptcy Mode, is a move that may come to bite the OU very hard on its ass.

On the other hand, if the Agriprocessors prosecution is being directed significantly from Washington, that would clearly be of interest as well. A number of significant public policy issues lurk in the shadows of Agriprocessors.

This is clearly a case being tried in the media as well as the courtroom. The ONLY REASON to send out a press release announcing the forfeiture filing is to get the news media to report it!

The DOJ by policy issues press releases for all significant actions it takes like modifying charges, etc.

The public has the right to know.

As for Agriprocessors being singled out, you miss the very real possibility, mentioned by the US Attorney himself, that more charges will be filed against the company (and perhaps against individuals) next month.

I think this forfeiture is a move meant to stop sale to innocent investors.

Look for extended charges, perhaps RICO-based, soon.

Rumor(there are alot of them around here these days!)has it that Agri workers have not or will not be paid this week. Also that One Force is bringing in more workers. Has anyone heard this or know more?

+++ Rumor(there are alot of them around here these days!)has it that Agri workers have not or will not be paid this week. Also that One Force is bringing in more workers. Has anyone heard this or know more?

Posted by: concerned citizen | December 12, 2008 at 07:15 AM +++


Hi Concerned Citizen,

Why in the h-ll are people working at Agri for nothing?

If more workers are brought in, they will be paid nothing, as well.

This simply doesn't compute.

Sage: I don't know why people are still working there. I hope the rumor about One Force is false, if true, more displaced workers in a week or two. Everyone, Please PRAY for our town. It's gone from bad to worse, to HORRIBLE!!!!!!

Hi Concerned Citizen,

Have the citizens of Postville set up a Postville Disaster Relief Fund?

I recently donated $100 to St. Bridget's.

If a fund to help is set up, I'll donate more.

Has any of the relief promised by the Iowa State Authorities arrived yet?

G-d Bless.

On another note, there has to be something in the works to pay off Rubashkin creditors, etc.

It's hard for me to believe, that the St. Louis Bank, for example, which is owed over $33 Million, is going to sit idly by, accept this loss and has tell its customers that it had to accept being duped by a bunch of low life criminals.

RICO

+++ RICO

Posted by: NWS | December 12, 2008 at 08:55 AM +++


The sooner, the better, especially if the OU, etc. were also charged.

looks like they've started w/Agri through the back door of Asset Forfeiture

sometimes just doing the best job you can not trying to be cute look for new ways to cut corners or play whack-a-mole with your private and business accounts and screwing over the people you hire and the people you borrow from really is the best way to do that best job and make a living -- if these guys had a rebbe rather than archives maybe he'd tell them that

Rubashkin criminal activity was alive and well back in Russia, according to a post a while back.

So what we have seen in this country is nothing new.

There is nothing you can tell these crooks. In their own mind, they are the LAW, as posted on this site by another blogger.

Recidivists.

otoh what we have are interesting personalities + "exotic" social mileu (for most) + family dynamics + businesses sustained by then brought low by criminal activities:

These guys would make a great HBO mini-series a la Sopranos but the Hollywood Jews don't seem aware

Sage: I can't answer about the state aid, just not sure of it's happened yet, thank-goodness I don't need to apply. Bless you for your donation to St Bridgets. You mentioned that you would donate more if you knew where to send it, St. Bridgets would be the place. Have a wonderful Holiday season.

Sage: I can't answer about the state aid, don't know if it's arrived yet or not, thank-goodness I don't need to apply. Bless you for your donation to St. Bridgets. You mentioned that you would like to send more if you knew where to send it, St. Bridgets would be the place. Have A Wonderful Holiday Season.

Sorry for the duplicate post

Sage - There is also this one -

St. Paul's Agri Workers Relief Fund
116 East Military Road
Postville, Iowa
52162

The state program to help with rent, mortgages and utilities is in place. They have been helping folks with that grant for about a week now; up to $3000 per household.

Thanks,

A donation will soon be on it's way.

sage, nothing will be done against the OU because of 'church and state' - religious parasites of every faith have the government and the taxpayers by the balls. We Jews have to bring them down ourselves.

Y&1/2,

You're probably right.

But if the Feds can prove that the Rubashkins were running a long-standing criminal enterprise and that Kosher certification of their output was absolutely required to keep them in business, then it might be possible for the OU and others to be charged, if a RICO case is brought. It would not be a church-state issue, only that the OU and others aided and abbeted criminal activity.

Postville will not fail without Agri. That is what we have been told for years and who has been telling us that?! Agri owners! Remember that before this was Agri it was called Hi-grade. Hi-grade shut down and Postville survived just fine. We are a small community. We need to remember to support each other and not to rely on businesses. Postville will once again rise from the ashes!!

Yes, indeed.

Postville will rise from the ashes, while the Rubashkins will be thrown into the ash heap.

To Sage:

I am one of the many workers that recieved help from the grant money. It has been in place for over a week now and continues to help many of us. You are a very special person and I for one am very apprecative of you caring about us to donate money. I recommend St. Pauls Agri Worker's relief fund. It to has helped many of us with food, shelter, gas, etc. They are our gaurdian angels. The volunteers that is. God bless you for everything.

Hi Agriworker,

No need to thank me. We are all taught that G-d is the one who gives everything. Those who give are simply humble conduits, through which G-d's Blessings come into this world.

Many folks have donated to help the folks in Postville, who have been sold out by the Rubashkins and the Kosher certifying agencies.

Please ask eveyone you know to thank G-d personally for all of the help they have received.

With G-d's Richest Blessings.

Hi Sage,

It is the least that I can do for you and the many others who have donated money, time and many many many prayers. Thank you again!!!!

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