USDA Determines Individuals Not Responsibly Connected to Alabama Violator

Date: 
Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 4:00pm
Contact Info: 

Release No.: 039-20

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2020 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has determined that Michael S. Rawlings, Drew Johnson and Jonathan Dyer were not responsibly connected members of Adams Produce Company LLC (Adams), Birmingham, Ala. This is an update to Press Release No: 114-14 issued on April 24, 2014.

Adams failed to pay $10,735,186 to 51 sellers for 9,314 lots of produce. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). Subsequently, the USDA imposed sanctions on individuals deemed to be responsibly connected to the business and required that all principals not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for a period of at least one year without USDA approval.

USDA made an initial determination that Steve Alexander, API Holdings LLC, Scott Grinstead, Michael S. Rawlings, Drew Johnson, Jonathan Dyer and Steve Finberg were responsibly connected to Adams and subject to employment sanction. Michael S. Rawlings, Drew Johnson, Jonathan Dyer and Steve Finberg disputed this initial determination.   USDA has now determined that Michael S. Rawlings, Drew Johnson and Jonathan Dyer were not responsibly connected to Adams.

Therefore, Michael Rawlings, Drew Johnson and Jonathan Dyer are under no employment sanctions and may be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee. Steve Finberg is continuing to challenge his responsibly connected status with the company.

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 the 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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