AMS No. 117-12
Nadine Wilkins (202)720-8998
WASHINGTON, May 4, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Paradise Produce Inc., of Bayside, N.Y., for failure to pay for produce.
The company failed to pay $755,971.10 to 16 sellers for 67 lots of produce. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result of these actions, the USDA and Paradise Produce Inc. have entered into a consent decision and Paradise Produce Inc. cannot operate in the produce industry until April 23, 2014, at which time it may reapply for a PACA license.
The company’s sole principal, Nak Won Kwang, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until April 23, 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 the AMS, an agency within the USDA.
In fiscal year 2011, USDA resolved approximately 2,000 claims filed under the PACA involving $31 million in their continued efforts to serve and protect the fruit and vegetable industry from unlawful trade practices.
For further information, contact Phyllis Hall, 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).