(UPDATED) The U.S. Department of Agriculture in November added a responsibly connected individual and an additional unpaid reparation order to continuing sanctions against McAllen, Texas-based MRP Cuts LLC.
In May, USDA sanctioned MRP Cuts under rules of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act for failing to pay a $36,744 award in favor of a Washington seller. At that time Juan Gamez and Roberto Garcia were listed as members of the business, though Roberto Garcia is contesting his responsibly connected status, according to a news release.
The company is still restricted from operating in the produce industry for the original debt, but USDA issued an additional reparation order in September against MRP Cuts LLC to pay $1,411 to a Texas seller. The company failed to pay within the allotted time, so USDA has extended the sanction period to reflect the new violation, according to the release.
The USDA also added Luis Enrique Garcia as a responsibly connected member of the business.
Since he was added to the case file in November, Garcia has successfully contested his responsibly connected status with MRP Cuts, of which he was the managing member and 100% shareholder from Dec. 31, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2016, according to a letter to Garcia from the USDA's PACA division.
USDA reviewed Garcia's status and determined that, since the reparation awards were issued on April 21, 2017, and Sept. 1, 2017, respectively, he was not responsibly connected at the time of the PACA violations.
Editor's note: This story was originally posted 11/1/17 but was updated on 1/25/18 to reflect Luis Enrique Garcia's change of status with regard to the PACA sanctions against MRP Cuts.