Release No.: 073-19
WASHINGTON, June 12, 2019 – As part of its commitment to ensuring fair and competitive markets for the livestock, meat and poultry industries, on May 17, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) entered into a stipulation agreement with Windsor Livestock Auction Co. Inc. (Windsor), of Windsor, Mo., for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Windsor waived its right to a hearing and paid a penalty of $6,000.
An investigation by AMS revealed Windsor failed to maintain its custodial account, resulting in custodial shortages of $115,979 on Oct. 31, 2018, and $394,705 on Nov. 30, 2018. The shortages in Windsor’s custodial account were due to the market failing to reimburse the custodial account for owner and employee purchases before the close of the next business day following the sale of livestock and failing to reimburse the custodial account for uncollected receivables before the close of the seventh day following the sale of livestock.
A custodial account is a trust account designated for shippers’ proceeds from the sale of livestock in trust for sellers. Operating with custodial account shortages is a violation of the P&S Act and places livestock sellers at risk of not being paid timely or at all.
The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $28,061 per violation against any person after notice and opportunity for hearing on the record. USDA may offer alleged violators the option of waiving their right to a hearing and enter into a stipulation agreement to quickly resolve alleged violations.
The P&S Act is a fair trade practice and payment protection law that promotes fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat and poultry industries.
For further information about the Packers and Stockyards Act, contact Stuart Frank, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (515) 323-2586, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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