An Oakland, Calif., produce company faces action under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act for allegedly failing to pay 15 sellers a total of $143,225.
According to a May 11 notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Leo L. Cotella Co. Inc. allegedly owes the money from purchases made from October 2007 through January this year. In accordance with PACA provisions, the company has the right to request a hearing.
If the USDA finds that the company violated PACA rules, it will be barred from the produce industry for two years. If that happens, the company’s principals can not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for a year. After a year they could re-enter the industry by posting a surety bond approved by the USDA.