Release No.: 087-14
Nadine Wilkins (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, April 2, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Triple A Grocers Inc. for failure to pay for produce.
The company failed to pay $132,383 to 10 sellers for 253 lots of produce. As a result of these actions, Triple A Grocers Inc. cannot operate in the produce industry until Feb. 14, 2016, at which time it may apply for a Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) license.
The company’s principals, Enrique J. Alejo, John Alejo, Enrique M. Alejo, and Liborio Markets #6 Inc., may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Feb. 14, 2015, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed willful, repeated, and flagrant violations of PACA as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business during the violation period. 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 companies operating subject to PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. USDA is authorized to suspend or revoke a company’s license for violations of PACA. All oversight of actions related to PACA are conducted by AMS, an agency within USDA.
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 4,600 claims filed under PACA involving more than $87 million. This is just one more way USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For further information, contact Josephine E. Jenkins, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, by fax at (202) 720-8868, or by email at InvestigativeEnforcement@ams.usda.gov
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