USDA Issues Complaint to Michael W. Whitten for Alleged Violations of the P&S Act

Date: 
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 3:30pm
Contact Info: 

Release No.: 027-19

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2019 – The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued a complaint to Michael W. Whitten (Whitten), Theodosia, Mo., for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act.

An investigation by AMS revealed that on eight dates from January 20, 2015, through June 2, 2015, Whitten instructed an auction market to re-invoice livestock purchases to show sale prices and/or weights greater than the actual sale prices and/or weights.  Whitten then issued the falsified invoices to his primary buyers to gain greater payment than warranted.

From January 5, 2015, through June 15 2015, on 21 dates, Whitten instructed an auction market to generate invoices depicting entirely fabricated livestock purchases.  Whitten provided the auction market with fictitious weight and price information.  Using the weight and price figures provided by Whitten, the auction market generated false invoices the market gave directly to Whitten’s primary buyer without livestock being weighed or sold through the auction for competitive bidding.

P&S regulations state that no dealer may make, issue, or circulate any false or misleading representations concerning the sale of any livestock.  Such a practice is considered unfair and is a violation of the P&S Act.

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.

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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