Oscar Produce Inc., Salt Lake City, has been fined by the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah for violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.
The action, filed by the U.S. attorney’s office on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was brought against the company for operating its business without a PACA license, according to a release from the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
Oscar Produce was fined $376,800. In addition, the court issued an injunction barring the company, its principals and agents from operating without the required PACA license, according to the release.
Rosalva Heredia, co-owner of Oscar Produce Inc., said her company no longer sells produce and hasn’t for about two years. She and her husband, Oscar, are strictly in the transportation business now, she said, owning and operating a line of trucks.
PACA law requires that anyone buying or selling commercial quantities of fruits and vegetables to be licensed by the USDA. Companies found engaging in business subject to licensing with-out a valid license can face fines and suspension or revocation of a license to conduct business.
Heredia said she and her husband had paid a small amount of the fine to the court but had no means to come close to paying the entire fine.
“We’re going to do our best to pay our debts, little by little,” she said. “What else can we do?”