Sutton Fruit & Vegetable, Freshco Foodservice face PACA actions

11/12/2012 11:47:00 AM
Tara Schupner

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has taken action against two produce companies and suspended six others for violating the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.

The USDA filed administrative actions against:

  • Sutton Fruit & Vegetable Co., Forney, Texas, for failing to pay 13 sellers a total of $585,517 for produce bought from May 2011 to February 2012.
  • Freshco Foodservice Inc., Portland, Ore., for failing to pay eight sellers a total of $288,372 for produce purchased from August 2010 to August 2011.

Both companies will have the opportunity to request a hearing.

The USDA also sanctioned:

  • Adam Guzman Jr., doing business as AG Tomato Co., Houston, for failing to pay $5,000 to a Texas seller. The responsibly connected individual is Adam Guzman Jr.
  • Centex Produce Inc., Austin, Texas, for failing to pay $4,590 to a Texas seller. The responsibly connected individuals are Atticus Macias, Montana Macias and Yves Macias.
  • Ortiz Produce Inc., Chicago, for failing to pay $38,616 to a Texas seller. The responsibly connected individual is Jose L. Ortiz.
  • Sheng Hung Hong Co. Inc., Cleveland, for failing to pay $7,121 to a Florida seller. The responsibly connected individual is Ju Wu.
  • Agronomics & Packaging Inc., Vernon, Calif., for failing to pay $30,862 to a California seller. The responsibly connected individual is Sharilyn Adams.
  • Pellegrini Produce LLC, St. Louis, for failing to pay $11,494 to a California seller. The responsibly connected individual is Mark Fazil.

Suspension of restrictions

The USDA also announced a stay on employment restrictions it previously imposed on Celso Paganini of Paganini Foods LLC.

Paganini Foods had failed to pay a reparation award to a California seller and on June 13 filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order against the USDA. As a result, the employment restrictions on Celso Paganini have been suspended.

Surety bond

S&H Packing Sales Co., Los Angeles, has posted a $60,000 surety bond to employ Anthony Moreno.

Moreno was listed as a responsibly connected individual with Moreno Brothers Two Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif., which failed to pay PACA awards as ordered by the USDA.



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