( File photo )

A man who the U.S. Department of Agriculture ruled was “responsibly connected” to a business in a case involving $9.8 million in unpaid produce purchases continues to challenge the decision.

Nicholas Allen was named in a Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act case against Allens Inc., Siloam Springs, Ark., and recently the USDA re-affirmed that he was “responsibly connected.” A Dec. 11 release from the USDA, however, clarified that a ruling on Allen’s dispute is not final.

Allen recently filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals to have the USDA judicial officer’s decision overturned, according to the USDA. A Stay Order has been approved, putting Allen’s PACA licensing and employment restrictions on hold until the appeal is heard in court, according to the USDA release.

The case involves vegetable canning company Allens Inc., also known as Veg Liquidation Inc. According to the PACA case, the company owes 40 produce sellers almost $9.8 million for 2,312 lots of produce.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013, and the USDA filed the PACA action in June 2014 for produce sold to the company from October 2013 to January 2014.

Related stories:

PACA citation comes 26 months after Allens Inc. bankruptcy

Judge orders Allens Inc. to pay PACA claim

Allens Inc. files Chapter 11, promises to pay for produce

 
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