USDA Restricts PACA Violators in California and Maryland from Operating in the Produce Industry
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on four produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
According to a USDA press release, the following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- Moceri Food & Beverage Inc., operating out of Los Angeles, California, for failing to pay a $23,092 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Salvatore E. Moceri and Grace A. Moceri were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
- R. Ponce Produce Inc., operating out of Los Angeles, California, for failing to pay a $245,440 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Ramona Ponce was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business.
- CQP LLC, operating out of Downey, California, for failing to pay an $8,032 award in favor of an Arizona seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Carlos D. Gallegos was listed as member of the business. Another principal of the business at the time of the order was Gaby Staben. She has challenged her responsibly connected status.
- Ye Hing Corporation, operating out of Rosedale, Maryland, for failing to pay a $148,512 award in favor of an Illinois seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Yuming Chen and Song Lin were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in a reparation order being issued that requires damages to be paid by those not meeting their contractual obligations in buying and selling fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. USDA is required to suspend the license or impose sanctions on an unlicensed business that fails to pay PACA reparations awarded against it as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business when the order is issued. Those individuals, including sole proprietors, partners, members, managers, officers, directors or major stockholders may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA-approval.
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,400 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 8,500 callers with issues valued at approximately $151 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.