Salinas, Calif.-based Chieftain Harvesting Inc., a target of Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act claims, is out of business.

The company was named a defendant in two lawsuits this year seeking enforcement of PACA claims, including one for $3.3 million filed Aug. 19.

Chieftain Harvesting’s closure was confirmed Sept. 4 by Red Book Credit Services, a sister company to The Packer.

The company had been harvesting iceberg and leaf lettuce for Mills Family Farms for six years when Mills closed in 2008. Afterward, Chieftain Harvesting became a grower-shipper for foodservice. Jerry Esquivel, its president, and David Mills, vice president, were partners.

Mills, Chieftain Harvesting and United Security Bank are defendants in the most recent suit, filed by MKM Farms Inc., Whole Leaf USA LLC, Field Fresh Farms and Double M Ranches Inc. in U.S. District Court.

The claims include:

  • MKM Farms, about $2.4 million;
  • Whole Leaf USA, $361,201;
  • Field Fresh Farms, $325,357; and
  • Double M Ranches, $193,453.

Earlier in August, Fresh Start Advantage Inc. dismissed a suit it had filed in March seeking $39,406 in PACA claims from Chieftain Harvesting, Esquivel, Mills and the bank.