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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Former Agriprocessors chief executive arrested again

By Lynda Waddington | 11.14.08 | 11:06 am
Sholom M. Rubashkin

Sholom M. Rubashkin

Sholom Rubashkin, former chief executive at the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, was arrested again this morning by federal authorities on a charge of multi-million dollar bank fraud.

The new complaint against Rubashkin alleges that he executed a scheme to defraud a bank on a $35 million line of credit. According to documents filed with the court, Rubashkin diverted millions of dollars in customers’ payments to Agriprocessors’ accounts receivable — payments that were part of the bank’s collateral on the line of the credit, and that were supposed to be sent directly to a depository account for the lending bank.

Federal prosecutors contend that under the direction of Rubashkin, the diverted payments were not posted to customers’ accounts in the meatpacking plant’s accounting system until a later date. As a result, the complaint alleges, the value of the accounts receivable appeared inflated on company books. This inflated number was used as a criterion that allowed the company to borrow additional funds from the bank.

Rubashkin is also alleged to have instructed an Agriprocessors employee to delete evidence of the scheme from company computers. The instructions, according to the complaint, came the day after Rubashkin was released on bail on charges of harboring undocumented immigrants for profit, document fraud and identity theft.

Rubashkin was once again arrested at his home in Postville without incident. He is scheduled to appear in federal court in Cedar Rapids at 11 a.m.

If convicted on the bank fraud charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail, a fine of the greater of $1 million or twice the caused loss, and five years of supervised release. Rubashkin already faces a possible 20 years in prison on earlier charges.

Rubashkin was previously arrested on Oct. 30 on a federal complaint that charged him with conspiring to harbor undocumented aliens for profit, aiding and abetting document fraud and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft. He was subsequently released on conditions that he wear a tracking device, that he limit his travel to eastern Iowa and that he and his wife, Leah, surrender their passports. Rubashkin also had to provide a $1 million appearance bond with $500,000 secured.

A federal grand jury indicted Rubashkin yesterday on those charges. Also named in the indictment was Karina Freund, a former Agriprocessors human resources employee, who was charged by the grand jury with one count of harboring undocumented aliens for profit.

Update

At his intial appearance in court, Rubashkin retained F. Montgomery Brown as his attorney. At the request of Brown, attorney Webb Wassmer appeared on his behalf.

A preliminary and detention hearing have been set for Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. Rubashkin will be detained at least until that time.

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