Rabbi Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin is an American born businessman and former CEO of Agri processors, growing it into the largest kosher meat producer in the United States.
The company’s facilities were raided in 2008 under accusations of immigration violations and worker exploitation. Federal authorities arrested 389 illegal immigrants working there.
In 2009 Rubashkin was convicted of 86 counts of federal bank fraud related to loans to the company, said to be part of a complex accounting scheme to pay workers off the books. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
Hundreds of undocumented immigrants stated that Rubashkin fostered a hostile workplace that included 12-hour shifts without overtime pay, exposure to dangerous chemicals, and sexual harassment.
Reports around the trial noted that Rubashkin had used $300,000 of company money to pay his credit card bills and $200,000 on a home renovation.
On December 20, 2017, President Donald Trump commuted Rubashkin’s sentence.
Three former senior White House officials revealed the critical role Trump’s Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner played in winning clemency for Rubashkin. The reported details offer a window into the ad-hoc personality-driven way decisions were made. They also show the influence of Jared Kushner and his father, Charles, a convicted felon, who sources say was lobbying the New York legal community to rally around an effort to push for clemency for Rubashkin shortly after Trump was elected.
Rubashkin was released in 2017.