WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2021 – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas entered into a settlement agreement on Oct. 27, 2021, with Edmond Shackleford Rochelle, doing business as Ford Rochelle of Nash, Texas (Rochelle), for violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Rochelle waived its rights to a hearing and agreed to pay a civil penalty of $14,000, paying $1,167 within 14-days of the signed agreement. The remaining $12,833 is to be paid over a period of one year from the date the agreement was executed. The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.
The Office of the Administrative Law Judge issued a Consent Order suspending Rochelle for five years, effective Aug. 28, 2018. The Order outlined conditions for lifting the suspension. The criteria for lifting the suspension were not requested by Rochelle nor was the suspension modified or set aside by the Secretary of Agriculture. Despite being suspended, Rochelle operated as a dealer and a market agency purchasing livestock on a commission basis in violation of the Secretary’s 2018 Order. Specifically, during the period of Oct. 3, 2018, through April 17, 2019, Rochelle engaged in 43 separate transactions totaling $1,073,765. As a result of these transactions, Rochelle received $7,588 in buying commission.
Operating while being suspended is a violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act), and places livestock sellers at risk. 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 P&S Act, contact Kraig Roesch, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (202) 720-7051, or by email at Kraig.Roesch@usda.gov.
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