United States Department of Agriculture Restricts PACA Violators in California, Connecticut, and Florida from Operating in the Produce Industry
WASHINGTON, DC - Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it imposed sanctions on four produce businesses for failing to meet contractual obligations to produce sellers and pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
In total, the four businesses from California, Connecticut, and Florida, failed to pay awards in the amount of $237,560. As a result, the sanctions imposed include suspending the businesses’ PACA licenses and barring the principal operators of each business from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without USDA approval.
Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- Richard Fahoum, doing business as All American Distributing Co., operating out of Visalia, California, for failing to pay a $168,629 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Richard S. Fahoum was listed as the sole proprietor of the business
- The Italian Scallion, operating out of New Haven, Connecticut, for failing to pay a $2,500 award in favor of a New York seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Salvatore Orlando Sampieri was listed as the member of the business
- WWD Fruits, doing business as B Fruits, operating out of Miami, Florida, for failing to pay a $60,725 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Damian V. Segal was listed as the manager/member of the business
- Dominic Produce, operating out of Miami, Florida, for failing to pay a $5,706 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Solanyi Garcia and Felix G. Garcia were listed as managers of the business
PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in USDA’s issuance of a reparation order 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.
By issuing these penalties, USDA continues to enforce the prompt and full payment for produce while protecting the rights of sellers and buyers in the marketplace.
To read the release in its entirety, click here.