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USDA restricts PACA violators and lifts reparation sanctions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on five produce businesses for failing to meet 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.

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

  • Blanca Medina, doing business as Medina’s Vegetables of Los Angeles, CA, for failing to pay $55,465 in favor of an Arizona seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Blanca Medina was listed as sole proprietor.
  • Acoca & Co. Inc. of Brooklyn, N.Y., for failing to pay $33,840 in favor of a Massachusetts seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Lavi Hagay was listed as officer, director and major stockholder of Acoca.
  • David Lopez, doing business as Texas Best Produce of Helotes, TX for failing to pay $47,880 in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, David M. Lopez was listed as sole proprietor.
  • Sergio Ibarra, doing business as Triple G Produce of McAllen, TX for failing to pay $4,716 in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Sergio A. Ibarra was listed as sole proprietor.
  • MT Produce Corporation, operating out of Washington, D.C., for failing to pay $63,141 in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Michael Thomas was listed as officer, director and major stockholder.

Additionally, the USDA announced that Martinez Fresh Produce LLC satisfied a reparation order for $47,803 issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) involving unpaid transactions. The Dallas, TX company has met its obligations and can operate in the industry. Arturo Martinez Isguerra was listed as the member/manager of the business and may now be employed by/affiliated with PACA licensees.

The USDA also determined that Samuel Sustarich is not responsibly connected to C & D Distributors Inc., Evanston, Ill. This is an update to this release.

C & D Distributors Inc. violated the PACA by failing to pay $7,457 in March 2021. As a result, USDA imposed sanctions on the business, including requiring that all principals may not be employed by/affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.

USDA made an initial determination that Sustarich was responsibly connected to C & D Distributors, Inc., and subject to sanction. Sustarich contested this initial determination and USDA has now determined Sustarich was not responsibly connected to C & D Distributors Inc. at the time of the violation. As a result, Sustarich may be employed by/affiliated with any PACA licensee.

Click here for an overview of companies who previously violated PACA.

For more information:
John Koller
USDA
Tel: +1 (202) 720-2890
PACAdispute@usda.gov 
www.ams.usda.gov 


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