In actions filed under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has sanctioned three businesses, taken actions against three others, and lifted restrictions on two Texas companies.
The USDA imposed restrictions on the following companies for failing to pay reparation awards issued under the PACA:
- Southeast Produce Limited USA, Maspeth, N.Y., for failing to pay a $176,883.50 award in favor of a California seller. The responsibly connected officers, directors and major stockholders are Winne Wang and Yuqing Wang (Henry).
- Paul J. Macrie Inc., Hammonton, N.J., for failing to pay an $83,690.00 award in favor of an Oregon seller. The responsibly connected officer, director and major stockholder is Peter R. Macrie Sr.
- Big Way Inc., Washington, D.C., for failing to pay a $97,528.00 award in favor of a Canada seller. The responsibly connected officer, director and major stockholder is Hong W. Nam.
All three businesses are restricted from operating in the produce industry, and the responsibly connected individuals cannot be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.
The USDA also filed actions against:
- Suncoast Distribution Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla., doing business as Suncoast, for allegedly failing to make full payment promptly to seven sellers in the total amount of $307,080.94 for produce purchased from May 2008 through September 2009.
- Ven-Co Produce Inc., Bronx, N.Y., for allegedly failing to make full payment promptly to 26 sellers in the total amount of $1,559,892.79 for produce purchased from January 2009 through June 2010.
- America Fresh LLC, for allegedly unlawfully employing Saul Gonzalez after Nov. 22, 2009, and after America Fresh was given notice that it was not permitted to employ Gonzalez without USDA approval and the posting of a surety bond. Gonzalez previously was barred from the industry as the result of his responsibly connected status with Mex Produce Sales LLC. On July 17, 2009, the USDA suspended Mex Produce Sales LLC’s PACA license for failing to pay a reparation award.
The USDA has lifted sanctions previously issued against:
- Bonaterra Fresh Inc., McAllen, Texas, which has satisfied a $19,237.13 reparation order issued under the PACA. The sole listed officer and stockholder was Juan C. Torres.
- Arturo Villarreal, McAllen, Texas, which has satisfied a $2,481.20 reparation order. The sole listed proprietor was Arturo Villarreal.