This story was interesting. Sholom Rubashkin lost his appeal. This means that he will spend almost the rest of his life in prison.
Given his unfair treatment by prosecutors and the trial judge, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he lost his appeal. If you are falsely charged with a crime, your goal should be to win at the first trial, and not hope to win an appeal. Sholom Rubashkin does have a longshot Supreme Court appeal, but that is extremely unlikely.
It is extremely unfair that Rubashkin gets a life sentence, while Jon Corzine and Dick Fuld were not even indicted. There are two justice systems, one for insiders and one for everyone else. Sholom Rubashkin’s true crime was that he effectively competed with an established large corporate cartel, the State meatpacking monopoly. “Crack down on white collar crime” really means “Crack down on people who threaten State insiders and their monopoly.”
Sholom Rubashkin owned and operated Agriprocessors. It was valued at more than $30M. It was the largest Kosher meatpacker in the USA. Even before Rubashkin was convicted of a crime, the State stole his business. Rubashkin and his relatives were blocked from operating or selling the business after the raid.
Rubashkin was hiring “illegal immigrants” to work in his plant. “Hiring illegal immigrants” is not a real crime. In a really free market, there are no restrictions on where people can live or work. Rubashkin’s workers were not unionized. Workers at his larger unionized competitors lobbied against him, because he threatened their monopoly.
There was a military-style raid of Rubaskin’s plant. All his business records were seized. By seizing his records, prosecutors were able to fabricate additional charges against Rubashkin, charges of bank fraud.
There was an “American Greed” hit piece on the Communism Channel regarding Rubashkin. They claimed he fabricated invoices, so he could qualify for a larger bank loan. It is possible that his vendors said “Yes! That’s a fake invoice! Does that mean we don’t have to pay it?”
Even if Rubashkin were faking invoices to qualify for a bank loan, the bank is also partially responsible. They should have performed due dilligence and an audit. Given the size of the loan, someone at the bank should have picked a couple of invoices at random and verified them.
Rubashkin did make a mistake. He commingled his personal assets and the business’ assets. Superficially, there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re the sole owner of a business. Due to State law regarding corporations, you can’t do that.
Another valid criticism of Rubashkin is that his meat probably wan’t Kosher. That should be a civil claim and not criminal.
The bank fraud allegations should also be civil and not criminal. Small business owners go to jail, but corrupt insiders get away with it, hiding their crime under complex financial transactions and complicated legal arguments justifying their theft.
Rubashkin does seem somewhat parasitic. Unfortunately, most successful businessmen are. The life sentence was definitely excessive, especially when compared to Jon Corzine and Dick Fuld getting away with bigger financial frauds.
Even if you believe everything prosecutors say, a couple years in jail should be the maximum sentence. Even before he was convicted of a crime, Sholom Rubashkin lost his family business, valued at $30M+. Prosecutors blocked him and his relatives from operating the business during the trial.
Prosecutors blocked a sale that would have repaid most of the bank loan. That is important for Federal sentencing guidelines. They are based on actual financial loss. Even though there could have been a sale that mostly repaid the bank loan, that doesn’t count. Rubashkin’s sentence was based on the value of the entire bank loan, and not just the small part he did misuse. The loss on the bank loan was created by the State, but then used as an excuse for a harsher sentence.
The “official reasonf” for the raid was for “hiring illegal immigrants”. Rubashkin was never convicted of hiring illegal immigrants. In a Police State, prosecutors can seize all your records and fabricate additional charges. That’s what happened to Rubashkin, who was convicted of bank fraud but not “hiring illegal immigrants”.
This blog is incredibly offensive. That blog was tracking Rubashkin and rooting for his conviction. That is incredibly offensive.
Notice the quatloos-like style of the comments. On the quatloos website, evil Statists cheer when people are convicted of tax evasion and have their life ruined. On that blog post, there’s a similar tone among people rooting for Rubashkin’s conviction. That is strong evidence that Rubashkin was wrongfully convicted, when the people cheering his conviction have such an evil tone.
Rubashkin will probably die in prison. There is a chance that the US government will fall before his sentence ends. However, political prisoners don’t fare well when the State that wrongfully imprisoned them falls.
Rubashkin’s true crime was that he successfully competed with a larger corporate cartel. The State stole his business. They convicted him in a sham trial so that the theft seemed legitimate. That’s a common trick. According to State logic, if someone is convicted of a crime, then any other police abuses are automatically justified.
Rubashkin does seem like a somewhat shady character. I am mostly convinced that he was wrongfully convicted and received an excessive sentence.
Laws against “white collar crime” come down hardest on successful small business owners. A corrupt CEO can hide behind legal technicalities. According to natural law, only violent offenders should be put in jail. According to natural law, Rubashkin owes no debt, because the value of the business that the State stole from him was larger than the alleged bank fraud.
There is no point to sending nonviolent offenders to prison. Even Bernard Madoff and Jon Corzine shouldn’t be in prison. The fairest justice would be to let their victims decide, whether they wanted to kill to satisfy the debt or force them to work with the proceeds going to the victims. It would be much better justice, to force Bernard Madoff to work as a greeter in Wal-Mart to pay off his debt, than for people to pay for the cost of keeping him in jail. In fact, prison is one of the safest places for Bernard Madoff to be, because a victim can’t retaliate against him!
When the State sends nonviolent offenders to prison, it’s not justice. It’s pursing a political motivation.