USA: Midamar Statement on Settlement with US DoJ

A corporate officer of Midamar Corp. and Islamic Services of America in Cedar Rapids will plead guilty to lesser charges next week of a 92-count indictment, involving the mislabeling and misbranding of halal beef products and falsifying export documents.

Jalel Aossey, 40, through his lawyer, filed his intent to plead guilty on Sept. 11 in U.S. District Court. There was no details of the

Midamar receiving the Gulfood Award 2013
Midamar receiving the Gulfood Award 2013

plea agreement in the document filed Thursday. He and his brother Yahya Nasser Aossey, 44, also a corporate officer for the two companies, were set to go to trial Sept. 28.

There hasn’t been anything filed as of Thursday indicating a plea for Yahya Aossey.

Jalel and Yahya Aossey and each of the businesses are charged with one count of conspiracy to make and use materially false statements and documents; sell misbranded meat; and commit wire fraud. Counts five through 47 they are charged with wire fraud, 48-91 with engaging in illegal international financial transactions and 92 is conspiracy to engage in illegal international financial transactions.

The indictment also includes a money laundering forfeiture by the prosecution, claiming a certain amount to be determined by the court of the companies proceeds are from illegal activity and should be forfeited.

The brothers are accused of passing off beef products to Malaysia and Indonesia, which didn’t meet the countries’ export/import requirements of how the halal meat is slaughtered and where it’s slaughtered, according to a the prosecution’s trial document.

Midamar allegedly circumvented the countries’ requirements and USDA inspectors because the brother’s father, William Aossey, directed employees at Midamar to fabricate and falsify shipping records, change USDA establishment numbers identifying where the meat was slaughtered.

Islamic Services of America certificates were also falsified to make it falsely appear as if beef products had been slaughtered at an approved facility for those two countries, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Murphy said in the trial document. Midamar founder William Aossey, 73, was convicted in July of 15 charges involving the misbranding of beef being exported to Malaysia and Indonesia.

He was convicted of one count of conspiracy to make false statements, sell misbranded meat and commit mail and wire fraud; seven counts of making or causing false statements to be made on export applications; and seven counts of wire fraud. Of the original 19 charges, he was acquitted of four money laundering charges.

William Aossey remains in jail pending sentencing, which hasn’t been set at this time. He faces eight to 10 years and possibly more in prison.