WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with SMBL Cattle Company, LLC (SMBL), doing business as J&J Livestock of Texarkana, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2022, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation, SMBL waived its rights to a hearing and paid a penalty of $2,500.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revealed that SMBL had custodial account shortages on May 17, 2022, and June 24, 2022, of $57,041 and $31,355, respectively. Both custodial account shortages occurred because SMLB failed to reimburse the custodial account timely for receivables.
A custodial account is a trust account designated for shippers’ proceeds from the sale of livestock in trust for sellers. Failure to reimburse the custodial account timely is a violation of the Packers & Stockyards Act and regulations.
The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $31,459 per violation against any person after notice and opportunity for a 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 resolve alleged violations quickly.
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.
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