Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Indictment Charges Fraud In Export of Supposed Halal Meat

On Dec. 5, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa announced the indictment of three related corporations and two corporate officials on charges of extensive fraud in the export sale of meat represented to be "halal." The indictment in United States v. Aossey, (ND IA, Dec. 5, 2014) (full text) charges defendants with conspiracy to make and use false statements on documents, sell misbranded meat, commit mail and wire fraud and sell misbranded meat.  This indictment expands on charges and individuals targeted in an earlier indictment in October.  (Background).  Export Law Blog summarizes the new charges against Midamar Corp., Islamic Services of America, ISA, Inc., Jalel Aossey and William Aossey:
The initial indictment charged William Aossey Jr. with falsely stating on export certificates that meat had been slaughtered in a Halal-certified slaughterhouse.
The new indictment adds Mr. Aossey’s sons and Midamar itself.... [A] central part of Midamar’s [defense] was that even if the meat was not slaughtered in Halal-certified slaughterhouses, the meat was still Halal meat as represented by the company.
The facts set forth in the new indictment seem to be directly aimed at this argument, going into the specific ways in which the slaughtered meat did not comport with the Halal standards that Midamar detailed on its own website.