Caito Bros. Co., a Cleveland-based produce wholesaler thatâs been around since 1935, closed its doors this week, and has already had almost $300,000 in PACA complaints and trust actions filed against it, as of May 5.
The company notified its employees April 30 that it was closing and then moved out of its slot on the Northern Ohio Food Terminal over the weekend, according to a source on the terminal.
The source said heâs heard that Leo Caito, the companyâs owner and a co-defendant on the trust action filed May 4, has been calling shippers to let them know the companyâs out of business.
Billy Cox, director of public affairs for the U.S. Department of Agricultureâs Agricultural Marketing Service, said the USDA has heard the company has closed its doors but does not have confirmation with the company.
PACA received four informal complaints totaling claims of about $100,000 the week of May 3, Cox said. The trust action, Case No. 1:10-cv-00997-KMO filed May 4 in the USDC Northern District of Ohio, was filed by G.W. Palmer & Co. Inc., Memphis, and Consumers Produce Co. Inc., Pittsburgh, and totals $178,000.
Alston Palmer, president of G.W. Palmer & Co., said he didnât have any comments on the situation, âexcept disappointment.â
Cox said the judge issued a temporary restraining order and scheduled a hearing for May 13.
âPACA is reviewing this situation,â Cox said.
Caito Bros. is not related to Indianapolis-based Caito Foods Service Inc. In a letter sent May 6, Caito Foods' chief financial officer, David Cochran, said his company does not buy or sell to Caito Bros. and has no financial dealings or common ownership.