Jurors mull case against businessman charged over halal beef exports to Malaysia, Indonesia

Jurors are deliberating in the case of an Iowa businessman charged with shipping beef to Malaysia and Indonesia that didn't meet those countries' strict religious-based slaughter standards.

Federal jurors in Cedar Rapids are considering 19 counts against Bill Aossey Jr., including conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.

Aossey is the founder of Midamar Corp., which sells halal food products. He's also a leader in the local Muslim community.

Prosecutors say Aossey directed Midamar employees to change labels on products packaged at a Minnesota slaughterhouse that wasn't approved to export beef to Malaysia and Indonesia from 2007 to 2010. Those labels were changed to falsely show the products came from a Nebraska slaughterhouse that met standards.

Aossey admitted to altering labels but described his actions as minor infractions, not crimes.