( File photo )

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited a Los Angeles company for failing to pay $750,000 for fresh produce, and sanctioned four other companies, all for Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act violations.

The USDA reported Sarita Ranch Provission Inc., Los Angeles, failed to pay $756,913 to 16 sellers of produce between March-November 2017, according to a news release. As a result, the company is prohibited from operating in the industry until Jan. 14, 2021, and then only after receiving a new PACA license from the USDA.

Sarita Ranch Provission principal Miguel S. Ortega, may not be employed by or affiliated with a PACA licensee until Jan. 14, 2020, and then only after posting a USDA-approved surety bond, according to the release.

The USDA also restricted the following businesses and individuals from operating in the industry:

  • JW Produce Inc., Watsonville, Calif., for failing to pay $27,223 to a California seller. Veronica Martinez Vazquez was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • Listo Produce Inc., Los Angeles, for failing to pay $1,484 to a California seller. Pedro L. Astorga was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • So Fresh Wholesale Corp., Weston Fla., for not paying $4,472 to a Florida seller. Mitchel G. Brandfon and Robert Vesco were listed as officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
  • Weng Farms Inc., Garden City, Ga., for failing to pay $84,897 to an Oregon seller. Liya Weng was listed as the officer, director and stockholder of the business, according to a news release.
 
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