It seems to me the OU and other kosher supervising agencies may be targets of the new federal investigation of price fixing and collusion in the kosher meat industry. This is a good time to point out that, with only one or two exceptions, these companies operate as tax exempt religious corporations and shield their books under the so-called “church exemption” which allows them to avoid filings with the IRS that otherwise would be public information. This means that, for all practical purposes, these organizations from the behemoth OU down to the much smaller UMK (Rabbi Zeilingold, who might possibly have his own IRS issues brewing, although I have not confirmed this) have no public accountability for their finances. When was the last time the OU’s or UMK’s books were laid bare for the community to view? It seems this has not happened recently, and probably never happened. Worse yet, while the OU seems to legitimately fit the “church exemption,” others like the OK do not – yet they claim it nonetheless.
Will the feds pierce the veil of these “church exemptions”? I believe they will, and that piercing will result in indictments and, eventually, convictions and perhaps plea bargains.
It may very well be the corruption so rampant in the kosher industry will be cleaned up by federal prosecutors and Treasury agents, when it should have been cleaned up long ago by rabbis and community leaders.
My guess (and this is only a guess) – the federal medical prison facility in Rochester, Minnesota will have a very choshuv minyan a year or so from now.