USDA Settles a Packers and Stockyards Case with J. Thomas Morrissey

Monday, November 27, 2023 - 1:00pm
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with J. Thomas Morrissey of Ottawa, Ill., on Oct. 31, 2023, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Morrissey waived his rights to a hearing and paid a civil penalty of $7,000.

An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) found that Morrissey was involved in a process where cattle consigned by a producer were weighed prior to the sale, and after the sale were assigned to JBS Foods for whom Morrissey was a salaried buyer. The investigation confirmed Morrissey and the producer misrepresented the price of cattle to JBS by having the markets create false and misleading records, as the cattle consigned at the auction markets were not bid on by Morrissey through competitive bidding and was instead assigned a price for JBS to pay.

The P&S Act prohibits such acts, as they are deemed Unfair and Deceptive Trade practices.

The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $33,896 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 P&S Act, contact Dora Malykin, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (202) 720-7051, or by email at


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