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USDA Restricts Three PACA Violators in California, New York and Wisconsin from

Release No.: 111-13 Contact:
Nadine Wilkins (202) 720-8998


WASHINGTON, June 19, 2013 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on three produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).


The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:


--Pablo Cruz, doing business as Cruz Produce, operating out of Rosemead, Calif., for failing to pay a $1,854 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Pablo Cruz was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.


--The Alphas Company of New York Inc., operating out of Bronx, N.Y., for failing to pay a $37,765 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Peter S. Alphas was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business.


--Spud City Sales LLC, operating out of Stevens Point, Wis., for failing to pay a $7,560 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Thomas J. Lundgren was listed as a member 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 of a 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.


The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), PACA Division, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses operating subject to PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. All oversight of actions related to PACA are conducted by AMS, an agency within USDA.


In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 5,000 claims filed under PACA involving almost $96 million. This is just one more way USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.


For more information, contact John Koller, Chief, Dispute Resolution Branch at (202) 720-2890, by fax at (202) 690-2815, or by email at disputeresolutionsection@ams.usda.gov regarding this matter.


Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at 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).


 
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  Last Modified Date: 06/19/2013