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USDA restricts PACA violators in California and Florida

As part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on four produce businesses for failing to meet their contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the PACA.

The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:

  • Old West Export Inc., operating out of Visalia, CA, for failing to pay a $187,393 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Frances Murillo and Dave Muse were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
  • Academy Fruit Company LLC, operating out of Clovis, CA, for failing to pay a $104,195 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jayson Paul Scarborough was listed a member or manager of the business.
  • MLC Berries Inc., operating out of Los Angeles, for failing to pay a $39,099 award in favor of an Oregon seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Miguel Campos was listed as the officer, director and/or major stockholder of the business.
  • Peerless Enterprises Inc., operating out of Gainesville, FL, for failing to pay a $6,440 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Eric Pleiman was listed as the officer, director and/or major stockholder of the business.

These sanctions include suspending the businesses’ PACA licenses and barring the principal operators of the businesses from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA. By issuing these penalties, USDA continues to enforce the prompt and full payment for produce while protecting the rights of sellers and buyers in the marketplace.

In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,500 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 7,800 callers with issues valued at approximately $148 million.