USA: Midamar Founder Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison in Halal Meat Case

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – A Cedar Rapids businessman convicted of mislabeling HalalBill-Aossey-copy meat will spend 2 years in prison.

Bill Aossey, 74, founder of Midamar, was sentenced in federal court Thursday morning on federal fraud charges. The sentence also calls for three years of supervision after release and a $60,000 fine.

The court recommended placement in a prison near Aossey’s family, and vocational training in culinary arts, carpentry, drafting and/or horticulture.

The Aossey family has a rich legacy in Cedar Rapids. Aossey, Sr. father helped establish the Mother Mosque in the early 1900s, which is one of the oldest standing Mosques in North America.

Following Aossey’s sentencing, Reade also sentenced Midamar and ISA Inc. to each serve five years probation with special conditions. Last year, corporate officers for Midamar and ISA, Jalel and Yahya Aossey, William’s sons, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make and use materially false statements and documents, sell misbranded meat, and commit wire fraud.

As part of the plea agreement, Midamar must follow a USDA consent decree that included restructuring debt and management for Midamar and the company will be under USDA oversight for five years. Jalel Aossey was required to give up a management role in both companies and Yahya Aossey is now in charge of both.

ISA will be required to provide financial information to probation if needed, can’t open lines of credit without probation approval, as well as other conditions.

Midamar was fined $20,000 and ISA will pay $60,000. Testimony during the separate sentencings showed Midamar is strapped for cash and was dependent on ISA, which is profitable. Reade ordered lesser fines than what prosecutors recommended because the companies had to pay $600,000 jointly in forfeitures.

Aossey was also ordered to pay a $60,000 fine, a forfeiture of over $184,000, and $16,824, which is the cost of prosecution.

Jalel and Yahya Aossey will be sentenced on March 11 for their part in the export fraud