T Nation

Largest Immigration Raid EVER

Largest immigration raid in US history (with meth lab and some weapons charges thrown in) – you’d think that’d make national news – but you’d be wrong. It can’t be the most obvious reason, since that would entail entertaining anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about media control.

Nothing to see here folks…

Agriprocessors Kosher Meat Plant: Largest Immigration Raid Ever in U.S. History - Possible Drug Production at Kosher Plant

In laying the legal groundwork for a massive raid of the country’s largest kosher slaughterhouse, federal authorities cited claims that illegal narcotics production took place at the factory and hundreds of illegal immigrants were employed there, including several of the rabbis responsible for kosher supervision.

The charges were among the most explosive details to emerge following the raid Monday at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa.

Agents arrested 390 workers in what Immigration and Customs Enforcement called the largest raid of its kind in U.S. history.

The raid, which required federal authorities to rent an expansive fairground in nearby Waterloo to house detainees, prompted the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa to temporarily relocate judges and court personnel to the site because the facilities in Cedar Rapids and Sioux City were inadequate.

“There have been other operations where more people have been arrested,” Tim Counts, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman, told JTA. “But as far as we can determine, this is the largest single-site operation as far as number of arrests go.”

The raid follows a six-month investigation involving more than a dozen federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the departments of labor and agriculture.

Three Israelis and four Ukrainians were among the detainees held on charges of being in the country illegally, Counts said. Officials are expected to bring criminal charges against some of the detainees as well, most of whom are from Guatemala and Mexico.

Agriprocessors said in a statement Tuesday that it “takes the immigration laws seriously” and intended to “continue to cooperate with the government in its investigation.”

“Agriprocessors will also inquire further into the circumstances that led to these events,” the company said. “We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families whose lives were disrupted and wish them the best. We are deeply committed to meeting the needs of all of our customers and are operating again today.”

In the affidavit filed as part of the 60-page application for a search warrant, additional details were revealed of the government’s investigation of Agriprocessors, a company that has been beset by numerous allegations of health and safety violations, mistreating workers and using controversial slaughter practices.

According to the document, a former supervisor at the plant–identified only as Source #1–told investigators that some 80 percent of the workforce was illegal.

The source also said he believed rabbis responsible for kosher supervision entered the United States from Canada without proper immigration documents. According to the affidavit, the source did not provide evidence for his suspicions about the rabbis.

Source #1 also claimed to have discovered active production of the drug methamphetamine at the plant and reported incidents of weapons being carried there.

Methamphetamine, more commonly known as crystal meth, is illegal in the United States. The popular nightclub drug gives users a sense of energy and euphoria that can last for hours.

Agriprocessors employees told investigators that sometimes they were required to work nighttime shifts of 12 hours or more.

The affidavit says that 697 plant employees are believed to have violated federal laws.

With Agriprocessors producing more than half of the nation’s kosher meat, the raid has prompted fears of a disruption in supply. Though the plant was back in operation Tuesday, it was unclear if Agriprocessors could meet its normal production capacity with hundreds of its workers in federal custody.

Founded by Brooklyn butcher Aaron Rubashkin, Agriprocessors produces kosher meat and poultry marketed under the labels Aaron’s Best and Rubashkin’s.

The firm gained national attention in 2000 with the publication of the book “Postville,” which described the tensions between the company and the local community. The company has attracted a significant population of Orthodox Jews to a rural pocket of northeast Iowa.

Agriprocessors did not respond to requests for comment from JTA. Asked if there was slaughter taking place Tuesday, a woman who answered the phone at the plant said, “We’re trying.”

The Des Moines Register reported that more than 100 cars were in the company lot Tuesday morning, but quoted a nearby business owner who said that foot and vehicular traffic to the plant was much lower than usual.

Rabbi Menachem Genack, the head of the Orthodox Union’s kosher supervision department–the largest outfit certifying the kosher status of Agriprocessors’ meat–told JTA that other companies had assured him that they could make up for any shortfall from the Postville plant.

Genack reiterated the O.U.'s policy of leaving matters of immigration and labor standards to the government.

“No one else has the resources to do what the federal government can do,” he said.

If the company turns out to be criminally liable, Genack said, that could be grounds for losing its kosher certification.

Genack said he was told by the plant’s supervising rabbi that two foreign rabbis working at the plant had failed to renew their work permits when they expired a few weeks ago. He described the issue as a “technical” violation and insisted the two rabbis had not been detained.

Much of the information the government collected appears to have come from former employees of Agriprocessors who were detained by police on unrelated charges. Sources related similar stories of presenting fraudulent documents and Social Security numbers when seeking employment with the company.

Several said they were aware of undocumented workers employed at the plant that were paid by supervisors in cash.

The affidavit says the government has probable cause to believe that an Agriprocessors supervisor assisted workers in acquiring fake documents in exchange for a cut of the proceeds.

Federal investigators provided documentation for a former Agriprocessors employee, identified in the affidavit as Source #7, for the purpose of gaining employment at the plant. Once hired, the source reported on rabbis who insulted the workers and threw meat at them.

In one alleged instance, a “Hasidic Jew” duct-taped a worker’s eyes and then hit him with a meat hook, “apparently not causing serious injuries.”

Agriprocessors has come under fire before for its labor practices, as well as health and safety violations. In March, authorities fined the company $182,000 for violations at the plant.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has clandestinely videotaped a controversial slaughter practice used at the plant.

In addition, an investigation by the Forward weekly newspaper revealed allegations that employees were underpaid and exploited. Agriprocessors officials denied the allegations.
http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/news/jt/national_news/possible_drug_production_at_kosher_plant/

Speaking of media coverage – another little non-news item…

Jewish Boy Band Mogul gets 25 Years in $313m scam
May 22, 2008

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for swindling investors and major US banks out of more than $US300 million ($A313.25 million).

But US District Judge G Kendall Sharp gave Pearlman the chance to cut his prison time by offering a one-month reprieve for every $US1 million ($A1.04 million) in cash he helps a bankruptcy trustee recover for his victims.

Theoretically, Pearlman could cancel his entire 300-month sentence by repaying the $US300 million ($A313.25 million) debt.

His lawyer, Fletcher Peacock, said in a written plea that 25 years amounted to a “sentence to death in prison” for the 53-year-old impresario who lived a jet-set life of mansions and luxury cars before the fraud scheme collapsed.

In an audacious two-decade scam, Pearlman admitted in his plea agreement to enticing individuals and banks to invest millions of dollars in two companies which existed only on paper – Transcontinental Airlines Travel Services Inc and Transcontinental Airlines Inc.

He won investors’ confidence with fake financial statements created by a fictitious accounting firm.

During sentencing, Sharp held up a book with letters from Pearlman’s victims, saying they included “his family, his close friends and people in their 70s and 80s who have lost their life savings.”

“So the sympathy factor doesn’t run high with the court,” the judge said.

Pearlman pleaded guilty in March to four counts: two of conspiracy involving bank and investor fraud, one of money laundering and one of making false claims in a bankruptcy.

Sharp noted Pearlman’s cooperation with the trustee to date had resulted only in the seizure of his mansion, cars including a Rolls Royce and other assets. Those recovered assets will not count toward the incentive plan to cut his sentence.

Sharp scheduled a hearing for the third week in July to determine the exact amount of restitution owed to victims, which is still being calculated.

He called the banks “negligent” for lending millions of dollars to fake companies without asking the obvious question: “Why there weren’t any Transcontinental planes flying around?”

The judge said he was concerned about small investors like Juanita Reynolds of St. Petersburg Beach, Florida, who cried while telling of her nearly 90-year-old husband’s reaction to the swindle.

“Tears ran down his face and he said he’d lost all his self-confidence and he died seven months later,” she said.

Other victims expressed anger at state regulators who ignored red flags about the scheme and at their need to work through what was supposed to be their retirement years.

When Pearlman comes out of prison, “he should be turned over to us,” said investor James Taylor.

Pearlman unsuccessfully sought a delay in his sentencing to allow time to launch his latest creation, European pop band US 5, in the United States and Asia.

In court documents, he argued he was developing US 5 at the time of his arrest and said the bankruptcy trustee for his companies agreed he had potential to earn “significant profits” on the band that could be used to pay restitution.

Outside the court, trustee Soneet Kapila said he had hired a music business consultant to help him evaluate the US 5 prospects and that he would be meeting with Pearlman to hear “whatever ideas he may have to utilise.”

“I think the only fair thing to say is we need to explore that potential,” Kapila said.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/boy-band-313m-scam/2008/05/22/1211182931387.html

Unmasking Lou Pearlman
Music producer Lou Pearlman celebrates his 53rd birthday this month, but he may not throw much of a party. The one-time king of boy bands waits in self-imposed foreign exile for word on whether he’ll be indicted for running one of the largest investment frauds in Florida history…

A former accounting student at Queens College, Pearlman used phony financial statements from a nonexistent accounting firm to convince bankers and potential investors that he and his main company, Trans Continental Airlines, were prospering. He owes more than $150-million to lenders, some of whom hold worthless Trans Continental stock as collateral.

Pearlman earned a reputation as a Svengali by easily outwitting the naive teenagers in his bands, their star-struck parents and many of those who worked for him…

He made a show of his connections to Orlando’s Jewish community. The sanctuary at Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation bears the Hebrew name Ohalei Rivka of Pearlman’s late mother in recognition of his financial support. Rabbi Mark Ankcorn said Pearlman’s last major contribution was about 10 years ago and said he was not aware that the congregation newsletter still listed Pearlman as an honorary director.

More recently, Pearlman pledged $250,000 for a “Louis J. Pearlman Aquatic Center” at a new Jewish Community Center. The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando says it is looking for other donors, because the pledge apparently has little chance of being honored…
http://www.sptimes.com/2007/06/03/Business/Unmasking_Lou_Pearlma.shtml

Of course I understand a $300 million rip-off isn’t exactly Miley Cyrus level news…

Raaaah! Kill the Jews! Only Jews do bad things!

There’s a religion that may be just up your alley, JTF.

It did make national news. I read about it on Drudge Report and Fox News.

JTF, don’t you post on the Washington Post site?

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
There’s a religion that may be just up your alley, JTF. [/quote]

Yep. Christians have been murdering and hating Jews for over two millenniums! Join today! After passing a trial period you get free crackers and booze!

[couldn’t resist]

[quote]JustTheFacts wrote:
Largest immigration raid in US history (with meth lab and some weapons charges thrown in) – you’d think that’d make national news – but you’d be wrong. It can’t be the most obvious reason, since that would entail entertaining anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about media control.

Nothing to see here folks…

Agriprocessors Kosher Meat Plant: Largest Immigration Raid Ever in U.S. History - Possible Drug Production at Kosher Plant…[/quote]

I saw this all over the news.

[quote]JustTheFacts wrote:
Speaking of media coverage – another little non-news item…

Jewish Boy Band Mogul gets 25 Years in $313m scam
May 22, 2008

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for swindling investors and major US banks out of more than $US300 million ($A313.25 million).

…[/quote]

This too.

[quote]
JustTheFacts wrote:
Speaking of media coverage – another little non-news item…

Jewish Boy Band Mogul gets 25 Years in $313m scam
May 22, 2008

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for swindling investors and major US banks out of more than $US300 million ($A313.25 million).


Zap Branigan wrote:
This too.[/quote]

Did you see it on the news referring to JEWISH Boy Band Mogul, or just boy band mogul?

[quote]doogie wrote:

JustTheFacts wrote:
Speaking of media coverage – another little non-news item…

Jewish Boy Band Mogul gets 25 Years in $313m scam
May 22, 2008

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for swindling investors and major US banks out of more than $US300 million ($A313.25 million).


Zap Branigan wrote:
This too.

Did you see it on the news referring to JEWISH Boy Band Mogul, or just boy band mogul?[/quote]

I think they called him a zionist pig.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Speaking of media coverage – another little non-news item…

Jewish Boy Band Mogul gets 25 Years in $313m scam
May 22, 2008

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for swindling investors and major US banks out of more than $US300 million ($A313.25 million).


Zap Branigan wrote:
This too. [/quote]

I don’t understand. What could you possibly need $313 millions for?

[quote]lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Speaking of media coverage – another little non-news item…

Jewish Boy Band Mogul gets 25 Years in $313m scam
May 22, 2008

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for swindling investors and major US banks out of more than $US300 million ($A313.25 million).


Zap Branigan wrote:
This too.

I don’t understand. What could you possibly need $313 millions for?[/quote]

Hookers and blow.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Speaking of media coverage – another little non-news item…

Jewish Boy Band Mogul gets 25 Years in $313m scam
May 22, 2008

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for swindling investors and major US banks out of more than $US300 million ($A313.25 million).


Zap Branigan wrote:
This too.

I don’t understand. What could you possibly need $313 millions for?[/quote]

In case the price of whey went up.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Speaking of media coverage – another little non-news item…

Jewish Boy Band Mogul gets 25 Years in $313m scam
May 22, 2008

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for swindling investors and major US banks out of more than $US300 million ($A313.25 million).


Zap Branigan wrote:
This too.

I don’t understand. What could you possibly need $313 millions for?

Hookers and blow. [/quote]

Assuming you get yourself a $1000 hooker a day, and $200 worth of blow (any more and you’ll OD), you would still need 714 years to spend it all. And I’m pretty certain getting a retainer on the hookers would save you some serious money there.

The man is 55 years old. At best, he has 30 more years around, which means he get almost $1 million a month. And again, that’s assuming the man stuffs his pillows with money and doesn’t invest it.

I still don’t get it.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Speaking of media coverage – another little non-news item…

Jewish Boy Band Mogul gets 25 Years in $313m scam
May 22, 2008

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for swindling investors and major US banks out of more than $US300 million ($A313.25 million).


Zap Branigan wrote:
This too.

I don’t understand. What could you possibly need $313 millions for?

Hookers and blow.

Assuming you get yourself a $1000 hooker a day, and $200 worth of blow (any more and you’ll OD), you would still need 714 years to spend it all. And I’m pretty certain getting a retainer on the hookers would save you some serious money there.

The man is 55 years old. At best, he has 30 more years around, which means he get almost $1 million a month. And again, that’s assuming the man stuffs his pillows with money and doesn’t invest it.

I still don’t get it.[/quote]

A different hooker a day in a 10,000 a night hotel suite, private jets to sample them all, lavish gifts, expensive boats. 313 million doesn’t go as far as it use to. Hell 313 Euro doesn’t go much farther.

I don’t really understand it either but remember there is some Ethiopian that thinks you are greedy because you don’t want to share your food when you already have so many advantages in life.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Speaking of media coverage – another little non-news item…

Jewish Boy Band Mogul gets 25 Years in $313m scam
May 22, 2008

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for swindling investors and major US banks out of more than $US300 million ($A313.25 million).


Zap Branigan wrote:
This too.

I don’t understand. What could you possibly need $313 millions for?

Hookers and blow.

Assuming you get yourself a $1000 hooker a day, and $200 worth of blow (any more and you’ll OD), you would still need 714 years to spend it all. And I’m pretty certain getting a retainer on the hookers would save you some serious money there.

The man is 55 years old. At best, he has 30 more years around, which means he get almost $1 million a month. And again, that’s assuming the man stuffs his pillows with money and doesn’t invest it.

I still don’t get it.

A different hooker a day in a 10,000 a night hotel suite, private jets to sample them all, lavish gifts, expensive boats. 313 million doesn’t go as far as it use to. Hell 313 Euro doesn’t go much farther.

I don’t really understand it either but remember there is some Ethiopian that thinks you are greedy because you don’t want to share your food when you already have so many advantages in life.[/quote]

I had no idea it was so difficult to be rich.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
A different hooker a day in a 10,000 a night hotel suite, private jets to sample them all, lavish gifts, expensive boats. 313 million doesn’t go as far as it use to. Hell 313 Euro doesn’t go much farther. [/quote]

Hum. Now, all the guy gets are state-sponsored “hotel suites” and “lavish gifts” when he drops the soap.

So it was an Ethiopian stealing my food all along?

[quote]lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
A different hooker a day in a 10,000 a night hotel suite, private jets to sample them all, lavish gifts, expensive boats. 313 million doesn’t go as far as it use to. Hell 313 Euro doesn’t go much farther.

Hum. Now, all the guy gets are state-sponsored “hotel suites” and “lavish gifts” when he drops the soap.
[/quote]

For the first time in his life he won’t have to pay for sex.

[quote]

I don’t really understand it either but remember there is some Ethiopian that thinks you are greedy because you don’t want to share your food when you already have so many advantages in life.

So it was an Ethiopian stealing my food all along?[/quote]

Or a street urchin.

I saw those stories all over the place too. And why would I care what religion some scam artist belonged to? Isn’t the article about him being a scam artist?

Should media be required to point out that “Jim Bob, 23 years old and a Lutheran, was caught shoplifting.”? Please.