WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reached a consent decision against Gregory A. Minnix (Minnix) and Minnix Cattle Company LLC (Minnix Cattle) of Buchanan, Va., on Nov. 10, 2020, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revealed that from January to November 2018, Minnix and Minnix Cattle failed to pay, when due, for 35 livestock purchases totaling $631,599. Of this amount, $368,937 remained unpaid at the time this complaint was reached. In three of these purchases, Minnix and Minnix Cattle issued checks to sellers totaling $106,892 that were returned unpaid because Minnix and Minnix Cattle did not have and maintain enough funds in the account to pay the checks when presented.
The investigation also found that Minnix Cattle was operating while insolvent. As of Dec. 31, 2017, Minnix Cattle’s current liabilities exceeded its current assets by $376,873. As of April 30, 2018, its current liabilities exceeded its current assets by $762,658.
The P&S Act requires subject entities to issue full payment for livestock by the close of the first business day following purchase and transfer of possession. Failure to timely pay for livestock purchases, issuing checks without sufficient funds for purchases, and operating while insolvent are unfair trade practices and violations of the P&S Act.
Under the consent decision, Minnix and Minnix Cattle must cease and desist from failing to pay, when due, the full purchase price for livestock, issuing insufficient funds checks for livestock, and operating while insolvent. AMS also suspended the registration for Minnix Cattle, and prohibited Minnix from registering in any other capacity individually or otherwise, for five years. Upon application to AMS, a supplemental order may be issued terminating the prohibition from registering at any time after six months upon Minnix' demonstration, to the satisfaction of AMS that, (a) all unpaid livestock sellers have been paid in full, or that a written schedule of restitution has been arranged with all the unpaid livestock sellers, and (b) that Minnix is no longer insolvent.
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 Jeana Harbison, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (202) 720-7051, or by email at Jeana.M.Harbison@usda.gov.
Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at www.ams.usda.gov/news or follow us on Twitter
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender