Release No.: 106-19
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2019 – As part of its commitment to ensuring fair and competitive markets for the livestock, meat and poultry industries, on July 30, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reached a consent decision against Clinton Livestock Auction LLC (Clinton), Sandra Berry (S. Berry) and Jack Blake Berry (J.B. Berry) of Clinton, Okla., for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service resulted in the issuance of an administrative complaint on May 21, 2019, against Clinton, and its owners/managers, S. Berry and J.B. Berry for failure to properly use and maintain their custodial account. This resulted in custodial account shortages of $90,528 on Feb. 28, 2018; $79,410 on May 25, 2018; and $56,282 on June 5, 2018. The shortages in Clinton’s custodial account were due, in part, to failure to deposit an amount equal to the proceeds receivable for sales of consigned livestock within the required period of time prescribed by the P&S Act regulations.
Under the consent decision, Clinton, S. Berry and J.B. Berry were jointly assessed a civil penalty of $20,000, of which $12,500 shall be held in abeyance, provided that payment of the remaining civil penalty is issued in accordance with the payment provisions in the consent decision.
In addition, Clinton, S. Berry and J.B. Berry, including its agents and employees, must cease and desist from engaging in deceptive and unfair practices, including:
- Failing to deposit into its Custodial Account for Shippers' Proceeds an amount equal to the proceeds receivable from the sale of consigned livestock within the time frame required ; and
- Failing to otherwise maintain the Custodial Account for Shippers' Proceeds in strict conformity with the 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 P&S Act, contact Stuart Frank, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (515) 323-2586, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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