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Slaughterhouse Owner Walks on Immigration?

Prosecutors sought on Thursday to dismiss all 72 immigration charges against the former manager of a kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa after his conviction on financial fraud charges.

The government on 86 financial fraud charges that could bring a prison sentence of hundreds of years.

Rubashkin, 50, was a manager of the Agriprocessors Inc., plant in Postville, Iowa, the site of a massive immigration raid in May 2008.

Prosecutors filed the motion to drop the immigration charges one day after a bail hearing for Rubashkin. He had been scheduled to go on trial for those charges on Dec. 2 in Sioux Falls, S.D. He has said he is innocent of all charges.

U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Bob Teig declined to comment on the motion.

Rubashkin initially faced 163 counts in a government indictment stemming from the immigration raid. U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade split the trial into 91 counts of financial fraud and 72 counts of immigration violations.

A jury found Rubashkin guilty Nov. 12 on 86 of the 91 financial fraud charges. Reade has not announced a sentencing date on those charges, and Rubashkin's attorneys have said they will appeal the conviction.

During the financial fraud trial, Rubashkin's defense attorneys protested the government's introduction of testimony involving alleged immigration violations. In the motion, prosecutors acknowledge that several of the charges in the financial trial were based on the assumption that Rubashkin harbored illegal immigrants.

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