USDA Determines Individuals Not Responsibly Connected to Alabama Violator
WASHINGTON, DC - Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it has reversed its previous decision and has determined that Michael S. Rawlings, Drew Johnson, and Jonathan Dyer were not responsibly connected members of Adams Produce Company LLC (Adams), Birmingham, Alabama, and has released an update to its Press Release No: 114-14.
Direct from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:
Adams failed to pay $10,735,186 to 51 sellers for 9,314 lots of produce. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). Subsequently, the USDA imposed sanctions on individuals deemed to be responsibly connected to the business and required that all principals not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for a period of at least one year without USDA approval.
The USDA made an initial determination that Steve Alexander, API Holdings LLC, Scott Grinstead, Michael S. Rawlings, Drew Johnson, Jonathan Dyer, and Steve Finberg were responsibly connected to Adams and subject to employment sanction. Michael S. Rawlings, Drew Johnson, Jonathan Dyer, and Steve Finberg disputed this initial determination. USDA has now determined that Michael S. Rawlings, Drew Johnson, and Jonathan Dyer were not responsibly connected to Adams.
Therefore, Michael Rawlings, Drew Johnson, and Jonathan Dyer are under no employment sanctions and may be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee. Steve Finberg is continuing to challenge his responsibly connected status with the company.
The PACA Division, which is a part of AMS’ Fair Trade Practices Program, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses that are operating subject to the PACA, including buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry.
In the past three years, the USDA resolved approximately 3,500 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 7,800 callers with issues valued at approximately $148 million. These are just two examples of how the USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For further information, contacts, and to read the press release in its entirety, please click the link here.