Aaron Rubashkin's son Moshe, convicted federal felon (bank fraud) and current head of the Crown Heights Community Council in Brooklyn, NY has finally caught the attention of…
The Des Moines Register reports on the indictments and subsequent plea deals of Moshe Rubashkin (brother of Agriprocessors' vice president Shalom M. Rubashkin) and his son Sholom (the nephew of Agriprocessors Sholom M. Rubashkin).
As noted by the Forward, the basis for those indictments was first reported right here on FailedMessiah.com on November 14, 2005:
A source close to the case told FailedMessiah.com that Skyline Industries – the property's "mortgage holder" – is controlled by members of the Rubashkin family. Rabbi Moshe Rubashkin "defaulted" on his "loans" just as Allentown was about to sieze and sell the then-intact but rundown property for back taxes and fees. Skyline Industries then gained "control" of the property, thwarting the city's efforts. Soon after, the property burned in the first of what would become several arsons. Now, just as the city is about to sieze the property from Skyline Industries – which is reported to be controlled by the Rubashkin family – Skyline transfers all but the most heavily damaged parcel to Southside Redevelopment, a company Allentown believes is also connected to the Rubashkin family.
But the US Attorney for the Allentown, PA area acted strangely.
He did not indict other family members said to be involved in this conspiracy. He did not pursue the truly damaging charges that could have put Moshe Rubashkin and other members of his family – perhaps including his father – in jail for dozens of years. When the US Attorney issued a press release on the indictments, that release was not widely circulated, and New York media was not alerted to Moshe Rubashkin's New York-Brooklyn connections, including his presidency of a New York City-funded community agency, assumed just a few weeks after being released from federal prison on bank fraud charges.
In the Allentown case, the EPA in effect forced the US Attorney to prosecute. That seems to be why the only charges brought involve EPA issues – but the larger issues of criminal conspiracy to defraud are not addressed.
The Bush Administration, which has run what is perhaps the most politicized and corrupt Justice Department (and USDA, for that matter) in modern US history chose to let the wider Rubashkin family go unprosecuted.
There is another connection between the Allentown fabric mill and Aaron Rubashkin that the Des Moines Register missed.
Moshe Rubashkin had another company linked to the Allentown fabric mill. It was called Cherry Hill Textiles and he and his father Aaron Rubashkin (founder of Agriprocessors) jointly owned that company. (Other family members may have owned bits of it, as well.)
Aaron and Moshe Rubashkin collected union dues as required by law from their employees. But the Rubashkins took the money and used it for their own purposes and did not transfer the collected dues to the union or hold the funds in an escrow account for that union as required by law.
They only returned the money when forced to by the National Labor Relations Board.
They took money from workers and kept it for themselves. Not that much different than what Aaron and his sons did at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa.
Here is the Des Moines Register report on Moshe Rubashkin:
Waste charges could send 2 Rubashkins to prison
BY CLARK KAUFFMAN
The son and grandson of the founder of Agriprocessors are facing potential prison terms on federal charges related to hazardous waste.
Moshe Rubashkin of New York City pleaded guilty in February to a charge of illegal storage of hazardous waste without a permit. His son, Sholom Rubashkin, pleaded guilty to a charge of making a false statement to federal officials. Each of the men faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
The pleas were the result of a deal with prosecutors. As part of the deal, the Rubashkins will have to pay the government $450,000 as compensation for site cleanup work.
Moshe Rubashkin is the son of Agriprocessors’ founder Aaron Rubashkin. His son, Sholom, shares the same name as his uncle, an Agriprocessors executive who lives in Postville.
The convictions stem from the Rubashkins’ ownership of Montex Textiles of Pennsylvania. In 2002, two years after the company ceased operations, containers of hazardous waste were being stored at the site without the required environmental permits.
In 2005, the textile mill was scheduled to be sold at a sheriff’s auction because of unpaid taxes. Shortly before the planned sale, a fire broke out at the plant. Over the next few months, there were three more fires — one of which was attributed to arson.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency then began a major cleanup of the site, and a grand jury issued indictments against the Rubashkins.
Moshe Rubashkin is expected to be sentenced July16. His son is scheduled for sentencing July 21.
This is not Moshe Rubashkin’s first brush with the law. In 2002, he was fined $233,000 and was sentenced to 15 months in prison for bank fraud.
[Hat Tip for the Des Moines Register piece: Michelle.]