(Aug. 1, 1:55 p.m.) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited five produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.
These businesses have been barred from operating in the produce industry until their awards are paid. The businesses were served complaints by USDA and were given the opportunity to respond. USDA subsequently ordered payment of the amounts mentioned below.
The businesses are:
- Southern Citrus Inc., operating in Chula Vista, Calif., for failing to pay an $11,919 award in favor of a California seller. The officers, directors, and major stockholders are Hanna Gibo and Sabah Youkhanna.
- Bruce A. Kinnaman, operating in Cos Cob, Conn., for failing to pay a $5,100 award in favor of a Florida seller. The sole proprietor is Bruce A. Kinnaman.
- M & M Produce World Inc., also doing business as Premier Produce & Food Distributors, operating in Tampa, Fla., for failing to pay a $3,346 award in favor of a Florida seller. The officers, directors, and major stockholders are Nam V. Duong, Jacqueline L. Johnson, and Janice C. Whaley.
- Ju Wang Trading Inc., operating in Flushing, N.Y., for failing to pay a $20,249 award in favor of a Florida seller. The sole officer, director, and stockholder is Eunlip Ha.
- Numero Uno Tropicales Inc., operating in Bronx, N.Y., for failing to pay a $72,298 award in favor of a New York seller. The sole officer, director, and stockholder is Washington Antunez.
PACA provides for damages to be paid by those not meeting their contractual obligations in buying and selling fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. Interstate produce traders operating as commission merchants, dealers or brokers, and conducting a sufficient volume of business must be USDA-licensed.
USDA is required to suspend the license of a business that fails to pay PACA reparations awarded against it. Individuals, partners, members, officers, directors, or major stockholders associated with these businesses may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA-approval.