USDA PACA updates

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Fong Shing International Corp. satisfied a reparation order in the amount of $53,540 issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) involving unpaid produce transactions and that Candymar Produce Inc. has also satisfied a $1,920 reparation order issued under PACA involving unpaid produce transactions.

Fong Shing of Maspeth, New York has met its obligations and is free to operate in the produce industry. Minh Thai was listed as the officer, director and/or major stockholder and may now be employed by/affiliated with any PACA licensee. And McAllen, Texas-based Candymar can also continue operating in the produce industry upon applying for and being issued a PACA license. Candido Nieto and Maricela Diaz were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders and may now be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee.

USDA has also imposed sanctions on four produce businesses for failing to meet contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under PACA. 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.

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

  • Kings Avocados USA Inc. (Los Angeles, California) for failing to pay $26,482 in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date, Daniel Gonzalez, Francisco Gonzalez and Ignacio Andrade Barragan were listed as officers, directors and major stockholders.
  • VIP Marketing Inc. (Los Angeles, California) for failing to pay $310,906 in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date, Jesse Martin and Christopher Martin were listed as the officers, directors and major stockholders.
  • Buy Right Produce LLC. (Morgan Hill, California) for failing to pay $56,987 in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date, Ruby Naranjo was listed as a member of the business.
  • Latin Produce LLC. (Miami, Florida) for failing to pay $3,500 in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date, Otto Paz was listed as a member of the business.

And in a complaint filed on Sept. 29, 2021, USDA alleged that American Fruit & Produce Corp. (American Fruit), Miami, Florida, failed to make full payment promptly for $667,214 to 21 sellers for multiple lots of produce in violation of PACA.

After the complaint was filed, USDA and American Fruit entered into a Consent Decision and Order in which American Fruit agreed to pay the unpaid sellers in full and to pay a $30,000 civil penalty.

As a result of American Fruit satisfying the terms of the consent decision and order, the finding that it had committed repeated and flagrant PACA violations was permanently abated and the case has been closed.

For more information:
John Koller
USDA
Tel: +1 (202) 720-2890
PACAdispute@usda.gov 

Corey Elliott
USDA
Tel: +1 (202) 720-6873
PACAInvestigations@usda.gov 
http://www.ams.usda.gov/


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