USDA Settles a Case with Erath County Dairy Sales Inc. Resulting in a $2,500 Penalty

Date: 
Friday, October 5, 2018 - 3:00pm
Contact Info: 

Release No.: 148-18

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2018 – On May 4, 2018, the Erath County Dairy Sale Inc., Dublin, Texas, waived its right to a hearing, entered into a stipulation agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and paid a penalty of $2,500 for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act.

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) investigation of Erath County Dairy Sale Inc. revealed custodial account shortages of $60,648 on May 31, 2017, and $48,736 on June 30, 2017.  A custodial account is a trust account that is a separate bank account designated for shippers’ proceeds.  Operating with custodial account shortages is a violation of the P&S Act and places livestock sellers at risk of not being paid timely or at all.

The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties of not more than $28,061 per count against any person who violates the law, after notice and opportunity for hearing on the record.

USDA enforcement rules provide a mechanism to quickly resolve violations of the P&S Act.  USDA may offer alleged violators the option of waiving their right to a hearing and entering into a stipulation agreement to quickly resolve alleged violations.

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, Fair Trade Practices Program, Packers and Stockyards Division, 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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