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After announcing a sanction under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act in late March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has now filed an administrative action against Valley Produce Corp. for a much larger amount owed.

The March sanction was for failing to pay a $65,340 reparation award in favor of a Texas seller, and the current action alleges that the Stockbridge, Ga., company failed to pay 19 sellers $873,986 from August 2016 through October 2017, according to a news release.

Mario A. Lazo is listed as the company’s CEO, and he has the opportunity for a hearing with the USDA on the current action. If USDA finds that Valley Produce repeatedly and flagrantly violated PACA rules, the company would be barred from the industry for two years and Lazo would be out for a year.

 
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