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Published November 06, 2008, 12:00 AM

Slaughterhouse pleads guilty to federal charges

The owner of a halal slaughterhouse has pleaded guilty to federal charges of obtaining loans and credit under false pretenses in Minnesota to pay for renovations to his property in Texas, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

SAN ANGELO, Texas – The owner of a halal slaughterhouse has pleaded guilty to federal charges of obtaining loans and credit under false pretenses in Minnesota to pay for renovations to his property in Texas, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Mohammed Fayyaz Hayat, 47, owner of American Halal Meat Processors Inc. in San Angelo, entered guilty pleas Friday to four counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting and two counts of false statements to a bank and aiding and abetting.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

“We’re still working on the case. There are a lot of good things that can be said for Mr. Hayat,” said his attorney David Guinn Jr.

Hayat and his wife owned an auto repair garage business in St. Paul, where they lived in the 1990s.

The couple incorporated their West Texas business, American Halal Meat Processors, in June 1999. Hayat purchased a closed meat processing plant, paying $50,000 at closing and signing two promissory notes.

Authorities allege Hayat made false representations and promises to convince three potential lenders in Minnesota to provide financing and lines of credit so he could expand his automotive repair business and make improvements to his property in Minnesota.

However, investigators say he used the proceeds to pay for renovations at his property in Texas.

They also allege Hayat falsely convinced two additional lenders that he had sufficient collateral and income to repay the financing he was seeking.

Before Hayat’s arrest, his company was successfully catering to the market for halal butchering, an Islamic ritual in which an animal’s throat is cut to allow removal of all blood and the butcher prays during slaughter, Guinn said.

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