WASHINGTON, Sept. 1, 2021 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with North Platte Stockyards Inc. and Kyle Layman (North Platte) of North Platte, Neb., on July 6, 2021, for violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, North Platte waived its rights to a hearing and paid a $1,500 civil penalty.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revealed that between July 2020 through February 2020, North Platte had Custodial Account shortages on July 7, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2020, which were $300,172.77 and $187,145.71, respectively. North Platte failed to reimburse the Custodial Account timely for uncollected receivables which is a violation of section 312 of the Packers & Stockyards Act and section 201.42(c) of the Regulations.
A custodial account is a trust account designated for shippers’ proceeds from the sale of livestock in trust for sellers. 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 up to $29,270 per violation against any person after notice and opportunity for hearing on the record. USDA may offer alleged violators the option of waiving their right to a hearing and enter 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, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (202) 720-7051, or by email at Stuart.Frank@usda.gov.
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