April 21, 2018

Halal Beef Producer Indicted

The owner of Midamar Corporation of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, William B. Aossey Jr., has been indicted with 19 felony counts by a grand jury in records unsealed October 24, 2014.

GavelsThe charges range from conspiracy to make false statements, selling misbranded meat, and committing mail and wire fraud. Aossey is also charged with making false statements on export applications, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. In 2012, Midamar was raided by federal agents with search warrants. Officials seized the company’s business records, computers, and bank accounts.

Halal foods are produced under Islamic dietary guidelines that require animals are raised, cared for, and killed to limit pain. The indictments charge that Midamar employees used nail polish to cover up the federal establishment numbers on products provided to them by third parties, and added new labels with the establishment number of a slaughterhouse that was certified. The government also alleges that Midamar put the wrong slaughterhouse information on paperwork sent to the USDA in order to get certificates for exporting. In addition, false letterhead and export certificates were allegedly produced to evade USDA inspectors and veterinarians.

Aossey’s attorney said that these charges are for “minor regulatory violations” and claims his client is being treated unfairly. The company has been under investigation since 2010, when the USDA seized thousands of pounds of “misbranded meat products” at the facility.

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