Iowa businessman convicted of fraud over halal beef exports

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — An Iowa businessman has been found guilty of exporting beef products to Malaysia and Indonesia that didn’t meet those countries’ strict religious-based slaughter standards.

Bill Aossey Jr. was convicted Monday on 15 of 19 charges he faced, including conspiracy, making false statements on export certificates and wire fraud. He was acquitted of four counts of money laundering.

Aossey is the founder of the Midamar Corp., a Cedar Rapids-based company that is considered a pioneer in the sale of halal meat and food products. The 73-year-old is also a longtime leader in Cedar Rapids’ relatively large Muslim community.

Prosecutors say Aossey oversaw a scheme in which Midamar employees lied about the origin of their products so they could export them to Malaysia and Indonesia from 2007 to 2010.

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