In a major development in the ongoing saga of Sholom Rubashkin, his attorneys on Monday filed a 50 page brief in Federal court in Iowa, asking for a new sentencing hearing in light of startling revelations.
In the court filings, which opens a new chapter in a case which has been described by leading legal experts as a shocking travesty of justice, Rubaskin’s legal team state in great detail how evidence previously undisclosed to Rubashkin “proves the government knowingly presented false and misleading sentencing testimony and withheld exculpatory evidence.”
This newly-discovered evidence includes detailed notes from a meeting between prosecutors and the bankruptcy trustee in which prosecutors imposed precisely the restrictions they later denied to the court as having imposed.
“In other words, prosecutors’ own words show the falsity of the sentencing testimony they presented that led to the 27-year sentence,” the brief, which was part of the public record and obtained by Hamodia, charges.
The legal brief is the culmination of almost three years of investigation during which the Rubashkin legal team, headed by Gary Apfel, an attorney in Los Angeles, and Stephen Locher an attorney in Des Moines, Iowa, was able to obtain what it described in the court papers as overwhelming evidence that the prosecutors wrongfully interfered in the Agriprocessors bankruptcy proceedings, intimidating potential buyers and thereby substantially decreasing the ultimate sale price. In addition, they charge that at Rubashkin’s sentencing, the prosecutors knowingly presented false testimony to conceal the impact their actions had on the loss incurred by the victim bank – thereby misleading the judge into laying the blame on Rubashkin and sentencing him to 27 years in prison.
The severity of Rubashkin’s sentencing depended on the amount of financial loss incurred by the victim bank which, in turn, depended on the purchase price offered and ultimately paid by prospective bidders for the assets of Agriprocessors. The prosecutors threatened unjustified and unauthorized forfeiture against any prospective bidder who would use Sholom’s father, Aaron Rubashkin (who the bankruptcy trustee himself acknowledges as crucial to the business) in a management, consulting or ownership capacity at Agriprocessors. This threat substantially reduced the final purchase price and thereby created the loss incurred by the victim bank. Had the assets sold for $40 million (the amount of an offer the bankruptcy trustee declined to accept because he thought it was too low), the bank’s loss would have been $0. The resulting Sentencing Guidelines range would have been 30-37 months rather than the 27-year sentence Rubashkin is currently serving. Rubashkin has now served more than 79 months in prison.