For the first time since the U.S. Department of Justice increased filing criminal charges for food safety violations, it may get its wings clipped just a bit by a challenge to district court jurisdiction in some limited instances. At issue is a jurisdictional question being raised on appeal that could prevent some criminal charges from…

Iowa’s Halal exporting company where for five years workers erased mandatory USDA Establishment numbers on products to hide the source of orders destined for Malaysia and Indonesia can continue in business. The U.S. Department of Agriculture came close to shutting down Midamar Corp. of Cedar Rapids, IA, which exports 200 Halal certified meat and poultry…

Iowa’s Midamar Corp., a worldwide supplier to Muslim markets, and its Halal certifying agency Islamic Services of America, or ISA Inc., cannot be put in jail, but the corporate entities did not escape the hurt Thursday. USDistrictCourtCedarRapidsChief Judge Linda R. Reade imposed additional fines — $20,000 on Midamar and $60,000 on ISA Inc. The U.S.…

Another long-time food company executive is headed to federal prison. billaosseyjr_406x250William B. Aossey Jr., the founder and long-time chief executive of Iowa’s Midamar Corp., was sentenced today to two years in a federal prison yet to be assigned, followed by three years of supervised probation. Linda R. Reade, chief judge for the U.S. District Court…

In three hours court action Friday, Chief Judge Linda R. Reade heard from witnesses and lawyers over objections and exhibits. Reade did not, however, get to the purpose of the hearing — the sentencing of William B. Aossey Jr. for his jury convictions from last July. USDistrictCourtCedarRapidsInstead, the federal judge continued the sentencing hearing to…

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…

Criminal courts have played a prominent role in food safety during both 2014 and 2015, and that will continue in 2016. We know that much for certain just by the amount of work the courts are carrying over into the New Year. We also know know the continuation of the restitution hearing before U.S. District…

Ahead of the yet-to-be scheduled sentencing of the defendants, the government wants to be relieved of the burden of notifying individual victims of a scheme that altered and falsified the true USDA establishment numbers on beef products exported from the United States. Government attorneys have asked the U.S. District Court for Northern Iowa to allow…

A preliminary order of forfeiture has been entered in the U.S. District Court for Northern Iowa requiring defendants Midamar Corporation and Islamic Services of America to pay a judgment of $600,000 to the federal government. Signed by Chief Judge Linda R. Reade, the order was entered after the business entities each pleaded guilty to one…

Outlines of the plea agreements between the government and brothers Jalel and Yahya Nasser Aossey were coming into focus ahead of today’s federal court hearings in Cedar Rapids, IA. halalmeat_406x250Court documents suggest that Jalel Aossey and the corporate entities are each being allowed to plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy.  Yahya Nasser Aossey…

A second criminal trial in Iowa’s halal beef case will likely be scratched if the court accepts plea agreements that four defendants have reached with the government. Those defendants, along with their attorneys, are scheduled to appear at individual hearings next Friday before Chief Magistrate Judge Jon Scoles in Cedar Rapids, IA, to enter guilty…