Plea deal is focus of Rubashkin's federal trial - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Plea deal is focus of Rubashkin's federal trial

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SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) -- A defense attorney focused on the plea deal a key witness struck with prosecutors in August in the financial fraud trial of a former kosher slaughterhouse manager.

Former Agriprocessors, Inc., plant controller Yomtov "Toby" Bensasson testified Thursday that the Postville, Iowa, slaughterhouse operated largely on borrowed money, at one point forcing a top manager to cash in his life insurance policy to keep the plant operational.

The manager, Sholom Rubashkin, faces 91 fraud charges in the federal trial.

Rubashkin attorney Guy Cook questioned Bensasson on his deal with prosecutors, in which he pleaded guilty to a charge of making false statements to a bank.

Bensasson has testified that he and Rubashkin falsified invoices in a scheme to defraud a lender bank.

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