Attorneys in Agriprocessors case ask judge to dismiss 91 fraud charges
BY GRANT SCHULTE • Des Moines Register
Sioux Falls, S.D. — Attorneys for an embattled northeast Iowa meat plant manager have asked a judge to dismiss all of his 91 financial fraud charges.
Lawyers for Sholom Rubashkin filed a motion on Monday asking a judge to acquit their client. The former vice president at Agriprocessors Inc. faces a bevy of charges including bank, mail and wire fraud, money laundering and ignoring an order to pay cattle providers in the 24-hour window required by law.
The request, filed in court papers, is routine. Defense lawyers moved to have the charges dismissed for what they say is a failure to prove Rubashkin’s guilt.
“The government’s case has been oversold,” attorneys wrote in the motion, prepared by lawyer Adam D. Zenor. “Simply put, the government has overreached. There is an insufficient linkage for a criminal conviction between Agriprocessors’ ultimate failure to make payments under a loan agreement and Agriprocessors’ business practices. Breach of contract does not equal a crime.”
Defense testimony resumes this morning during week four of Rubashkin’s trial in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Agriprocessors Inc. was the site of a May 2008 immigration raid that caught 389 illegal workers. The plant has since filed for bankruptcy, changed ownership, and changed its name to Agri Star.
Rubashkin will likely testify on Thursday, defense lawyer Guy Cook said in court.
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade has not yet ruled on the motion.