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Agriprocessors HR employees charged in connection with illegal immigration
Two female members of the Agriprocessors human resource department staff learned this afternoon of the charges they will be facing in federal court.
Laura Althouse, 38 of Postville, and Karina Freund, 29 of Fayette, were arrested this morning by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville.
Althouse has been charged with aiding and abetting document fraud, aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to harbor undocumented aliens. Documents filed with the court allege that on May 11, the day before federal authories launched a massive immigration raid at the plant, an Agriprocessors supervisor was in the human resources department assisting employees with the completion of new applications, in new names, and using newly acquired false identification documents. In addition, the documents indicate that Althouse was assisting with this process, knowing that some of the applicants were current employees who worked in the supervisor’s department.
Freund is charged with aiding and abetting the harboring of undocumented aliens. Court documents allege that several former, undocumented alien employees at the plant have implicated Freund in helping them obtain false identification documents.
The two women appeared in federal court today. Althouse was released on bond. Freund is temporarily being held, but is expected to be released with an electronic monitoring device. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24.
If convicted on the charges, Althouse faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of 22 years in prison, a $750,000 fine, special assessments of $300 and seven years of supervised release. Freund faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, a special assessment of $100 and 3 years supervised release.
Althouse and Freund were also named today in the state’s case of alleged child labor law violations at Agriprocessors.