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USDA PACA produce businesses

USDA Sanctions 11 Produce Businesses for PACA Violations

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on 11 produce businesses in six states for failing to meet their contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).

These sanctions include suspending the businesses’ PACA licenses and barring the principal operators of the businesses from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA. By issuing these penalties, USDA continues to enforce the prompt and full payment for produce while protecting the rights of sellers and buyers in the marketplace.

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Also, the USDA has found Nicholas Allen responsibly connected to Allens Inc., Siloam Springs, Ark.  Allens Inc., failed to pay $9,759,843 to 40 produce sellers for 2,312 lots of produce, in violation of PACA.

As a result, Nicholas Allen may not be employed or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Sept. 25, 2020, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond. In addition, Allen cannot be licensed in the produce industry until Sept. 25, 2021, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.

The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:

  • Chefd Inc., operating out of El Segundo, Calif., for failing to pay a $91,439 award in favor of a New York seller. As of the issuance date of the USDA reparation order, Emily Waldorf, Peter Boyes, Lawrence Perkins and Jason Ackerman were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
  • Academy Fruit Company LLC, operating out of Clovis, Calif., for failing to pay a $104,195 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jayson Paul Scarborough was listed a member or manager of the business.
  • MLC Berries Inc., operating out of Los Angeles, Calif., for failing to pay a $39,099 award in favor of an Oregon seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Miguel Campos was listed as the officer, director and/or major stockholder of the business.
  • Old West Export Inc., operating out of Visalia, Calif., for failing to pay a $187,393 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the USDA reparation order, Frances Murillo and Dave Muse were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.

Related Article: PACA Regulations Defends Traders of Agricultural Products

  • Peerless Enterprises Inc., operating out of Gainesville, Fla., for failing to pay a $6,440 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Eric Pleiman was listed as the officer, director and/or major stockholder of the business.
  • OKA Group LLC, operating out of Doral, Fla., for failing to pay a $44,526 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Yesmin Rodriguez was listed a member or manager of the business.
  • Alpha Family Farms LLC, operating out of Royal Oak Beach, Fla., for failing to pay a $22,625 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Amanda Camacho and Christian Spataro were listed as members of the business.
  • Countryland Farms LLC, operating out of Nashville, Ga., for failing to pay a $4,075 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the USDA reparation order, Gary Barfield was listed a member or manager of the business.
  • Golden Horse LLC, operating out of Secaucus, N.J., for failing to pay a $6,910 award in favor of an Illinois seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Oi Cheng and Kong Cheng were listed a members or managers of the business.
  • Nile Food Importing Corp., operating out of Brooklyn, N.Y., for failing to pay a $5,600 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Mohamed Elsehetry was listed as the officer, director and/or major stockholder of the business.
  • Sandifer Farms LLC, operating out of Blackville, S.C., for failing to pay a $172,156 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Bruce A. Barron and Phillip L. Sandifer were listed as members of the business.

About Hernando Ramírez-Santos

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Editorial and Social Media Coordinator, Abasto Magazine. Accomplished and innovative leader and journalist with over 30 years of experience in print, digital, radio and television.

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