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Rubashkin family member heads to prison for Pennsylvania misdeeds
The Rubashkin family, owners and founders of the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, were handed another defeat this week as Moshe Rubashkin was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison.
Moshe, a son of Agriprocessors founder A. Aaron Rubashkin, had pleaded guilty in February to leaving hazardous waste inside the Allentown, PA textile plant he owned and operated. His son, Shalom Rubashkin, was also charged in the case and will be sentenced next month.
Montex Textiles, which closed in 2001, was used by Rubashkin as an illegal storage facility for numerous containers of hazardous waste. When a series of unexplained fires in 2005 gutted the building just days before a sheriff’s sale (the company was won in foreclosure by a Brooklyn, N.Y. bank), the Environmental Protection Agency stepped in to order clean up of the property.
In addition to the prison time, U.S. District Judge James Knoll Gardner ordered Rubashkin to pay $450,000 in fines. The monies will be distributed between the EPA and the City of Allentown.
This will not be Rubashkin’s first stint at in a federal institution. In 2002, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $225,000 in restitution for bank fraud. That case was also linked to his ownership and operation of Montex Textiles.
Within months of his release from prison, Moshe Rubashkin was elected as president of Crown Heights Jewish Community Council in Brooklyn, which receives and administers millions in government funds each year.
Moshe and his father, Aaron, were found guilty in 1995 of collecting union dues from their Cherry Hill Textile employees without sending the collected monies on to the United Production Workers Union. The National Labor Relations Board ordered the Rubashkins repay the money with interest.
Moshe’s brother, Sholom M. Rubashkin, a former executive officer at Agriprocessors, is currently out on bail and waiting trail on federal identity theft and immigration-related charges. This week Agriprocessors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid a foreclosure lawsuit.