Release No.: 081-18
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2018 – On August 28, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), reached a consent decision with Edmond Shackleford Rochelle d.b.a. Ford Rochelle (Rochelle), Nash, Texas. This consent decision settled a complaint issued by the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Division of AMS on June 20, 2018, for alleged violations of the P&S Act (Act), resulting in a five-year suspension of Rochelle’s P&S registration that prohibits him from operating as a livestock dealer.
AMS conducted an investigation revealing that from January 27, 2016 through December 20, 2017 Rochelle failed to pay, and pay when due, the full purchase price for 418 head of livestock valued at approximately $243,419. The violations occurred in the course of his dealer operations and involved 15 transactions at two Louisiana auction markets. Section 409 of the Act requires that when purchasing livestock at auction markets, livestock dealers must issue payment to the markets no later than the close of the next business day after the sale. Failure to pay for livestock purchases, or pay in accordance with section 409, is an “unfair practice” and a violation of section 312(a) of the Act. When a livestock dealer fails to pay an auction market, or pay the market timely, it jeopardizes the market’s ability to pay livestock sellers timely, if at all.
In four of the 15 transactions, Rochelle wrote checks that were returned by the bank due to insufficient funds totaling approximately $83,313. At the time AMS issued the complaint, all four checks remained unpaid.
AMS also alleged that Rochelle failed to keep and maintain records from livestock auction markets concerning his purchases and sales of livestock. He also failed to maintain bank statements, checks, and other bank records for the checking account used for his livestock dealing business. Section 401 of the Act requires that livestock dealers keep and maintain records that fully and correctly disclose all the transactions in their business.
Rochelle agreed to a suspension of five years, beginning on August 28, 2018. After 30 days of active suspension, upon application to AMS, Rochelle may request a supplemental order that permits his salaried employment by another registrant or packer. At any time after one year from the start of the five year suspension period, Rochelle may request a supplemental order lifting the suspension completely if Rochelle demonstrates to AMS the unpaid livestock sellers have been paid in full.
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, Director, Packers and Stockyards Division, Fair Trade Practices Program, at (515) 323-2586, or by email at Stuart.Frank@usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender
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