The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on RRD Produce Co., Los Angeles, Calif., for violating the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. These sanctions include barring the business and the principal operators of the business from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.
RRD failed to pay $174,464 to 17 sellers for produce that was purchased, received and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from May 2018 to December 2018. This is in violation of the PACA. RRD cannot operate in the produce industry until Dec. 7, 2022, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.
The company’s principals, Ricardo Villalobos, Raul Gomez, Baudelio Villalobos and Maricruz Villalobos, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Dec. 7, 2021, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.
Individual not responsibly connected to IL violator
The USDA has also determined that Frank Cione is not responsibly connected to Lurie Brothers LLC, Chicago, Ill. This is an update to Press Release No: 036-20 issued on Feb. 13, 2020.
Lurie Brothers LLC violated PACA by failing to pay a reparation award in the amount of $26,163 in December 2019. As a result, USDA imposed sanctions on the business, including requiring that all principals may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.
USDA made an initial determination that Frank Cione was responsibly connected to Lurie Brothers LLC and subject to sanction. Frank Cione contested this initial determination and USDA has now determined that Frank Cione was not responsibly connected to Lurie Brothers LLC at the time of the violation.
As a result, Frank Cione may be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee.
USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed wilful, repeated and flagrant violations of PACA as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business during the violation period. 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.
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.
Click here for an overview of companies who previously violated PACA.