USA: Jurors consider case alleging fraud in halal beef exports

Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. — Jurors are deliberating in the case of a businessman charged with shipping beef to Malaysia and Indonesia that didn’t meet those countries’ strict religious-based slaughter standards.

Federal jurors in Cedar Rapids are considering 19 counts against Bill Aossey Jr., including conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.

Bill-Aossey-copyAossey is the founder of Midamar Corp., which sells halal food products. He’s also a leader in the Muslim community of Cedar Rapids.

Prosecutors say Aossey directed Midamar employees to change labels on products packaged at a Minnesota slaughterhouse that wasn’t approved to export beef to Malaysia and Indonesia from 2007 to 2010. Those labels were changed to falsely show the products came from a Nebraska slaughterhouse that met standards.

Aossey admitted to altering labels but described his actions as minor infractions — not crimes.