William B. Aossey, Jr., the 74-year old founder of a Halal food exporter enterprise in Cedar Rapids, IA, will
be sentenced at 9 a.m., Friday, Feb. 5 by Chief Judge Linda R. Reade of the U.S. District Court for Northern Iowa.
A jury convicted Aossey last July on 15 counts including felonies for conspiracy to defraud the United States, forgery of official devices, marks or certificates, fraud by wire, radio or television, wire fraud, engaging in monetary transactions with forfeiture allegations, and money laundering involving postal, interstate wire, or radio.
The founder of Midamar Inc. and the Halal certifying Islamic Services of America was acquitted on four other similar counts. He was taken into custody immediately after the jury verdicts were read last July.
Judge Reade set the sentencing date after finding the Final Presentence Investigative Report for Aossey was complete. She has set aside two hours for the sentencing hearing.
The criminal activity resulting in Aossey’s convictions involved his directing others to switch out USDA establishment numbers to fulfill orders for Midamar of Halal beef orders bound for southeast Asia, which resulted in shipments from beef plants that were not approved to provide beef to the largely Muslim counties that received the orders.
Several weeks after Aossey was charged, prosecutor separately charged his sons, Jalel and Yahya Aossey, along with both Midamar Inc. and Islamic Services of American. Those defendants all opted to enter into plea bargains with the government that saw each plead guilty to one or two charges in exchange for taking responsibility and paying restitution. They have until Monday, Feb. 8 to file sentencing memorandums and briefs after which their sentencing dates will be set.
Halal refers to food or drink meeting standards acceptable to the Muslim religion.