USDA Clarifies that Nicholas Allen Continues to Challenge his Responsibly Connected Status to Allens Inc. for PACA Violations

Date: 
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 4:00pm
Contact Info: 

Release No.: 163-19

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is clarifying that Nicholas Allen is continuing to challenge his responsibly connected status to Allens Inc., also known as Veg Liquidation Inc., Siloam Springs, Ark., Allens Inc. failed to pay $9,759,843 to 40 produce sellers for 2,312 lots of produce, which is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). This is a correction regarding Press Release No: 138-19 issued on Oct. 16, 2019.

Nicholas Allen challenged the initial determination that he was responsibly connected to Allens Inc., but the determination was affirmed by USDA’s Judicial Officer. Nicholas Allen has recently appealed the Judicial Officer’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals, Washington D.C. Circuit and filed a Motion for Stay Order. The Judicial Officer issued the requested Stay Order, and as a result, Nicholas Allen’s licensing and employment restrictions will be stayed, pending the current appeal in the D.C. Circuit, and any further and final appeals.

The PACA Division, which is a part of AMS’ Fair Trade Practices Program, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses that are operating subject to PACA, including buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry.

In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,500 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 7,800 callers with issues valued at approximately $148 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.

For further information, contact Travis M. Hubbs, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, or by email at PACAInvestigations@usda.gov.

Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at www.ams.usda.gov/news or follow us on Twitter @USDA_AMS. You can also read about us on the USDA blog.

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