Hosam Amara, a former manager at Agriprocessors, has pleaded not guilty to harboring immigrants illegally for profit. Federal agents arrested 389 workers at the former kosher slaughterhouse in what was the largest immigration raid in the country at the time. Amara fled to Israel following the raid but was extradited from that country to stand trial in the U.S, reports the Associated Press.
Amara is charged with conspiring to harbor workers who were in the country illegally and conspiring to provide false immigration papers. The 48-year-old former poultry production manager at the Agriprocessors plant faces 25 counts related to harboring and two counts related to document fraud. Prosecutors state that Amara knowingly hired immigrants who were in the country illegally and kept them off the books by putting them on the payroll of a separate company. That claim that he also helped the employees obtain false identity papers and green cards.
Several other Agriprocessors were also arrested. Former vice president Sholom Rubashkin was convited in 2009 on financial fraud charges and sentenced to 27 years in prison. Plant managers Brent Beebe and Zeev Levi were accused of taking part in the immigration conspiracy. Beebe pleaded guilty to a document fraud charge and was sentenced to 10 months in prison. Levi apparently fled to Israel and remains a fugitive.
Sources: AP, USA Today