William Aossey Jr., founder and owner of Midamar Corp., one of the country’s largest halal meat processors, was indicted late last week in federal court on 19 counts involving the sale of misbranded halal beef products and falsifying export documents and certificates.
According to KCRG News, Aossey is charged with one count of conspiracy to make false statements, sell misbranded meat, and commit mail and wire fraud; seven counts of making or causing false statements to be made on export applications; seven counts of wire fraud; three counts of money laundering; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the indictment, Aossey conspired and agreed with others known to the grand jury to commit violations of law within the jurisdiction of Department of Agriculture by covering up material facts by a scheme, make false and fraudulent statements, to make and use false documents, sell misbranded products and make false statements on export certificates.
Aossey and others are accused of generating a variety of fabricated certificates and writings, including export documents, that contained falsified information concerning the source and nature of the beef products, according to the indictment. The false certificates and writings were created to show the shipments complied with import requirements of the countries where the beef was shipped.
The indictment alleges that Midamar took orders for the export and sale of Halal beef to customers in Malaysia and Indonesia, and ordered beef products from a facility in Windom, Minn., which wasn’t certified by the two countries for export. Employees then removed the USDA labels from the Minnesota establishment and replaced them with labels bearing the Midamar FSIS establishment number.
His initial appearance and arraignment is set Oct. 30 in U.S. District Court.