Saturday, September 17, 2011

Eighth Circuit Affirms Rubashkin Case

One of the 2010 White Collar Crime Blog Awards went to the Sholom Rubashkin case. (see here).  It gave it a "collar  for the Case Most Needing Review - Sholom Rubashkin’s 27 year sentence."

The Eighth Circuit has now reviewed that case, but unfortunately for Rubashkin, with a result that does not change its prior outcome.  The court held that "Rubashkin did not make a timely recusal motion . . " and that "[a]fter studying the lengthy record we find no evidence that the district court's decision to remain on the case prejudiced Rubashkin's verdict."  The court also concluded "that Rubashkin's money laundering convictions were lawful and did not merge with any other of his crimes."  Finally, the court upheld the sentence, saying that "the district court's loss calculation" was not error.  The Eighth Circuit states, "[s]entences within the guideline range are presumed to be substantively reasonable."

And so for now, Rubashkin's 27 year sentence remains. Top law professors who are key sentencing experts wrote an amici brief in this case, in support of Rubashkin. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will re-examine this case.

Opinion here.

See Linda Friedman Ramirez, International Criminal, Extradition and Immigration Defense News, White Collar Crime: 8th Circuit Affirms Rubashkin's Conviction and Sentence (Agriprocessor Fraud Offenses)

See also Doug Berman, Sentencing Law & Policy, Eighth Circuit panel unanimously affirms Rubashkin federal convictions and lengthy prison sentence


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