Release No.: 067-19
WASHINGTON, June 7, 2019 – As part of its commitment to ensuring fair and competitive markets for the livestock, meat and poultry industries, on May 13, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) entered into a stipulation agreement with Randy Freeman (Freeman), of Ben Franklin, Texas, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Freeman waived his right to a hearing and paid a penalty of $2,000.
An investigation conducted by AMS revealed that Freeman failed to timely pay for livestock purchases, totaling $258,476 from Nov. 3, 2015, through Jan. 27, 2016.
The P&S Act requires subject firms to issue payment for livestock by the close of the first business day following purchase and transfer of possession. Any attempt to delay payment is an unfair practice under the P&S Act placing livestock sellers a risk of not receiving payment.
Additionally, the investigation revealed Freeman failed to maintain and provide complete bank statements, purchase invoices, and sales invoice documentation as required by the Act. Entities subject to the Act are required to keep and maintain records that fully and correctly disclose all the transactions in their business.
The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $11,000 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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