The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on Benny F. Hall & Sons LLC, Oak Hall, Va., for violating the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. These sanctions include barring the business and the principal operator of the business from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.
BHS failed to pay $503,744 to eight sellers for produce that was purchased, received and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from July 2016 to August 2017. This is in violation of the PACA. BHS cannot operate in the produce industry until Oct. 7, 2022, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.
The company’s principal, Benny Hall, Sr., may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Oct. 7, 2021, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.
USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed willful, repeated and flagrant violations of PACA as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business during the violation period. Those individuals, including sole proprietors, partners, members, managers, officers, directors or major stockholders may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.
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.
The USDA has also filed an administrative complaint against Florida Cool Cargo Inc. for alleged violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. The company, operating from Florida, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to five produce sellers in the amount of $115,806 from May 2019 through July 2019.
Florida Cool Cargo Inc. will have an opportunity to request a hearing. Should USDA find that the company committed repeated and flagrant violations, it would be barred from the produce industry as a licensee for three years, or two years with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond. Furthermore, its principals could not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for two years, or one year with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
Click here for an overview of companies who previously violated PACA.