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Ex-kosher meat plant manager pleads not guilty



This news story was published on May 4, 2013.
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Hosam Amara

Hosam Amara

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, May 3 (UPI) — A former manager of a kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa who fought extradition from Israel, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he harbored illegal immigrants.

Former Agriprocessors manager Hosam Amara, 48, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids to one count of conspiracy to harbor undocumented workers for profit, 24 counts of harboring and aiding and abetting the harboring of undocumented workers for profit, one count of conspiracy to commit document fraud and one count of aiding and abetting document fraud, The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette reported.

Amara was indicted in 2008 but fled the country. He was arrested in Israel in 2011 and returned to Iowa in March.

Dubuque lawyer Steven Drahozal was appointed to represent Amara, the newspaper said.

Prosecutors sought to have Amara detained until his trial and that his passports be withheld from him.

Another former Agriprocessors manager charged in the case, Zeev Levi, remains a fugitive and is believed to be in Israel.

Former Agriprocessors vice president Sholom Rubashkin, 52, was convicted on dozens of counts of bank, mail and wire fraud, money laundering and failure to pay livestock providers in a timely manner.

Several company supervisors and managers also were convicted, and 389 workers were convicted and many deported, The Gazette said.

The Postville plant, which had been the largest kosher meat processing facility in the nation, is now under new ownership and operates as Agri Star.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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4 Responses to Ex-kosher meat plant manager pleads not guilty

  1. LVS Reply Report comment

    May 5, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Could it be the government is targeting him because he is Jewish? There are many employers of Mexican decent in California that continuously hire illegals and nothing is done about it.

  2. Allen Reply Report comment

    May 5, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Your right Peter, he was used as an example. But I can’t understand why the government had to go all the way to Israel to get an example, when we have employers right here that have been doing it for a long time. This really gets me, (conspiracy to harbor undocumented workers for profit, 24 counts of harboring and aiding and abetting the harboring of undocumented workers for profit) it’s just a fancy, politically correct way of saying he hired illegal aliens to work for him. Give him a slap on the hand, take him to the airport, and tell him not to come back. HE, probably won’t.

  3. Peter Children Reply Report comment

    May 5, 2013 at 7:25 am

    This is a man who was targeted to serve as an example to what could happen to you if you hired illegals. The meat packing plant this man created in Postville rejuvenated that community, brought new life there. There were plenty of like employees all over the state. The local Chamber of Commerce should have given him an award.

    Peter Children