The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Black Hog Farms Inc. satisfied a $14,772 reparation order issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act involving unpaid produce transactions.
The East Palatka, Fla., company can continue operating in the produce industry upon applying for and being issued a PACA license. Jonathan Insetta and Luke A. Watkins were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business and may now be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee.
The USDA also announced that Aguigato LLC satisfied a $4,130 reparation order issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) involving unpaid produce transactions.
The McAllen, Texas, company can continue operating in the produce industry upon applying for and being issued a PACA license. Erica Aguirre was listed as the sole
Terms of consent decision and order satisfied
In a complaint filed on April 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleged that Jones Potato Chip Co. of Mansfield, Ohio, failed to make full payment promptly in the total amount of $438,673 to four sellers for multiple lots of produce in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). In this case, Jones Potato Chip Co. paid sellers for produce, but not in a timely fashion in accordance with the PACA.
After the complaint was filed, USDA and Jones Potato Chip Co. entered into a consent decision and order in which Jones Potato Chip Co. agreed to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $5,000 for making untimely payments to sellers for produce purchases. As a result of Jones Potato Chip Co. satisfying the terms of the consent decision and order, the finding that it had committed repeated and flagrant PACA violations was permanently abated without further process and the case has been closed.
PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in USDA’s issuance of a reparation order that requires damages to be paid by those not meeting their contractual obligations in buying and selling fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. USDA is required to suspend the license or impose sanctions on an unlicensed business that fails to pay PACA reparations awarded against it as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business when the order is issued. Those individuals, including sole proprietors, partners, members, managers, officers, directors or major stockholders, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.
Once a reparation order is fully satisfied and it is confirmed that there are not any outstanding unpaid awards, USDA lifts the employment restrictions of the previously named, responsibly connected individuals. USDA also requires any unlicensed company that fully satisfies all unpaid reparation awards to obtain a license if it continues to operate in the industry.
Click here for an overview of companies who previously violated PACA.