WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reached a consent decision with M&L Farms LLC, Jallaq Farms LLC and Othman Jallaq (Respondents) of Grove City, Ohio, on Dec. 15, 2022, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revealed that M&L Farms operated while insolvent between December 2017 and January 2018. M&L Farms and Mr. Jallaq purchased approximately $993,568 of livestock between January 2017 and March 2018 and another $75,017 of livestock between May and October 2018, and failed to pay, when due, the full purchase price. They also issued nine insufficient funds checks and failed to keep and maintain adequate records. A related company, Jallaq Farms and Mr. Jallaq purchased approximately $351,104 of livestock between May 2019 and August 2010, and failed to pay, when due, the full purchase price.
Under the consent decision issued on Jan. 12, 2023, Respondents agreed to cease and desist from failing to pay and failing to pay, when due, the full purchase price of livestock, issuing insufficient funds checks for livestock, operating while insolvent, and failing to maintain adequate records. Until they demonstrate correction of their insolvency to AMS’ satisfaction, Respondents must pay for livestock purchases with cash, cashier’s check, or wire transfer at the time of exchange of possession. They must maintain and keep specific written records. Also, Respondents are jointly assessed a $26,000 civil penalty, of which $3,900 will be paid in monthly installments of $195 each, starting immediately upon execution of the consent decision, and the remaining $22,000 will be held in abeyance for 20 months, provided Respondents satisfy the other terms of the order.
The P&S Act requires subject entities to issue the 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 and failure to issue the full payment for purchases is an unfair trade practice and a violation of the P&S Act. Operating while insolvent is also a violation of the P&S Act since it places livestock sellers at risk of not being paid fully or promptly.
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 Kraig Roesch, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (303) 375-4291 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender