AMS No. 006-13
Nadine Wilkins (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Prime Tropical Inc., of Los Angeles, Calif., for failure to pay for produce.
The company failed to pay $825,808.09 to 18 sellers for 150 lots of produce. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, Prime Tropical Inc. cannot operate in the produce industry until Nov. 6, 2014, at which time it may reapply for a PACA license.
The company’s principals, Julio C. Chan, Maria G. Chan, Vincent V. Ramirez Jr., and Yolanda R. Ramirez, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Nov. 6, 2013, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
Under PACA provisions, those individuals held responsibly connected to PACA violations including sole proprietors, partners, members, officers, directors, and stockholders, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA-approval.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), PACA Division, regulates fair trading practices of produce companies operating subject to the PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. The USDA is authorized to suspend or revoke a company’s license for violations of the PACA. All oversight of actions related to the PACA are conducted by AMS, an agency within USDA.
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 5,000 claims filed under the PACA involving $96 million. This is just one more way USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For further information, contact Josephine E. Jenkins, Acting Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, by fax at (202) 720-8868, or by email at InvestigativeEnforcement@ams.usda.gov
Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at http://www.ams.usda.gov/news or follow us on Twitter @USDA_AMS. You can also read about us on the USDA blog.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).