The U.S. Department of Agriculture has taken action against several produce companies under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.

The USDA filed an administrative action against Sandler Bros., Biddeford, Maine, for allegedly failing to pay eight sellers a total of $234,385 for purchases made from June 2008 to March 2009.

The USDA also filed a complaint against Hammonton, N.J.-based Paul J. Macrie Inc., for allegedly failing to pay 33 sellers a total of $1,294,592 for produce bought from June 2009 to November 2011.

In the complaint, the USDA lists Peter R. Macrie Jr. as the responsible party and also requests that John & Pete’s Fresh Cut Produce Concepts LLC be denied a PACA license because Macrie, its principal, engaged in practices prohibited by the PACA.

Sandler Bros. and Paul J. Macrie Inc. can request hearings, and if the USDA finds the companies responsible, they will be barred from the industry for two years.

The USDA also cited Richard Vega, of Florida, for violating PACA employment sanctions by working for United Fruit and Vegetables Inc./LLC.

Vega’s sanctions, which began Aug. 21, 2009, were imposed after he committed PACA violations connected with Miami Best Tropical Enterprise Inc. As a result of this citation, Vega has agreed to another year of suspension, which expires Dec. 9 and after which he may be employed with a bond.

Bond posting

Bix Produce Company LLC, St. Paul, Minn., has posted a $250,000 surety bond with the USDA to employ Bradley Beckman.

Beckman previously was an officer of Custom Cuts Fresh LLC, Milwaukee, Wis., which failed to pay a reparation award issued against it under the PACA.