Ex-Manager of US Halal Food Supplier Agreed to Cooperate in Fraud Case

A fired manager at an Iowa-based halal food supplier accused of fraud agreed to cooperate with prosecutors months ago under a plea deal. The agreement shows Phillip Payne agreed to "fully and completely cooperate" in the investigation of the Midamar Corp.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A fired manager at an Iowa-based halal food supplier accused of fraud agreed to cooperate with prosecutors months ago under a plea deal.

A plea agreement released Tuesday shows Phillip Payne agreed in May to "fully and completely cooperate" in the investigation of the Midamar Corp.

The document shows that Payne worked as Midamar's operations manager, but was fired in 2012 after telling the Cedar Rapids-based company he intended to seek employment elsewhere.

Payne has since worked for Iowa Premium Beef, which is opening a processing plant in Tama. Company spokeswoman Michelle Baumhover promised Monday to release a statement on Payne's status, but later declined.

Payne pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to make and deliver false certificates and writings. Two other charges will be deferred under a pretrial diversion agreement.

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