In his order, Judge Scoles ruled that it would be “unreasonable to expect adequate preparation for pretrial proceedings and for the trial itself within the time limits established by the Speedy Trial Act.
“For this reason, the Court finds the ends of justice served by granting a motion to continue outweigh the best interests of the public and the Defendant in a speedy trial,” the judge’s ruling continues.
To square things up, the judge removed the time between the filing of the postponement motion and the start of the trial from inclusion in the speedy trial clock.
A total of 19 federal criminal counts (see below) were brought against Aossey in the Oct. 26 indictment. He was released to assist in his own defense.
If the government is successful in prosecuting him, Aossey could be imprisoned for up to five years on the conspiracy charge, up to three years on each of the six counts of making false statements on export applications, and up to 20 years on each count of money laundering and money laundering conspiracy. Fines of up to $250,000 on each count and supervised release requirements could also be made part of the punishment if he is convicted.
Aossey founded Cedar Rapids-based Midamar Corporation in 1974, earning distinction as a leader in Halal food production, distribution and export management for restaurant franchises located throughout the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Far East.
He was indicted as an individual, and Midamar continues to operate as normal. At the time Aossey was charged, the company issued a statement stating that it believes “this attack on his integrity and reputation is unmerited, unfair and inconsistent ….”
The federal indictment charges Aossey with misbranding Halal beef products and falsifying export documents and certificates. Aossey is also a founder of the Islamic Services of America, which certifies Halal products as meeting the requirements of the Muslim faith for slaughtering and other standards.
When it does begin, the Aossey trial will be held before the Northern Iowa District’s chief judge, Linda R. Reade. Her severe sentencing in a case involving Kosher meat production sparked controversy within legal circles largely because she also supervised a federal raid on the plant before any charges were brought.