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Rubashkin Faces 99 New Charges; Denies Them All

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DES MOINES The former chief executive officer of the nation's largest kosher meatpacking plant has been named in a new 99-count federal indictment filed in Iowa.

Former Agriprocessors CEO Sholom Rubashkin is already being held on charges of bank fraud, harboring illegal immigrants, document fraud and identity theft. The new indictment adds charges of money laundering and violating an order from the U.S. secretary of agriculture.

The indictment was filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.

It also names three co-defendants who worked at the plant in Postville, Iowa.

The plant was the target of a massive immigration raid last year and its operators have been accused of child-labor violations.

The lawyer for Sholom Rubashkin said his client denies all 99 additional charges filed against him on Thursday. The Lawyer, Guy Cook, said that his client will face the charges in court.

"Sholom Rubashkin denies all 99 charges," said Mr. Cook. "Whether 99 charges or 9,000 charges, they are mere charges, proof of nothing. He is presumed innocent, and is indeed innocent, unless and until the prosecutors can prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law."

The court also granted an appeal hearing today concerning Mr. Rubashkin's bail, which will be held on January 22nd at 4 p.m. The hearing will give Mr. Rubashkin an opportunity to argue he is not a flight risk and should be allowed free awaiting his trial. Despite having strong ties to the community and posting considerable surety for bail, Rubashkin has been locked in Dubuque County Jail since his arrest in November. The U.S. Attorney has argued that Rubashkin represents a heightened flight risk because he is Jewish and could flee to Israel, a stance that many prominent Jewish scholars and civil rights advocates have decried.

"Mr. Rubashkin is not a coward," Mr. Cook said. "He will face these charges in court."

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