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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has sanctioned eight produce companies that have not paid Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act-related reparation awards.

The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry, according to a news release:

  • Ricardo Betancourt, doing business as Betancourt Produce, Los Angeles, for failing to pay a $31,230 award in favor of a California seller. Ricardo J. Betancourt was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.
  • Paradise Produce LLC, Las Vegas, for failing to pay an $8,197 award in favor of an Idaho seller.  Eugene J. Hickey, Michael K. Rosenblum and William H. Rosenblum were listed as members of the business. This sanction follows an administrative complaint USDA filed earlier this month alleging that Paradise Produce failed to pay $694,922 to 32 produce sellers from February through November 2017.
  • Frank M. Minardo LLC, Gilbert, Ariz., for failing to pay a $26,308 award in favor of a Washington seller. Frank M. Minardo was listed as a member of the business.
  • The Chop Shop Produce Co. LLC, San Antonio, for failing to pay a $7,111 award in favor of a California seller. Jamie M. Gonzalez and James R. Smith were listed as members of the business.
  • Seasons Best Produce Corp., Lutz, Fla., for failing to pay a $16,400 award in favor of a North Carolina seller. Jason A. Canals was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • Maya Fresh LLC, Forest Park, Ga., for failing to pay a $16,400 award in favor of a Texas seller. Doris E. Martinez was listed as a member of the business. This new sanction comes after Maya Fresh was sanctioned in June for failing to pay $11,380 to a Texas seller and subsequently paid that amount a few weeks later to remove the sanction.
  • Havana Produce Inc., Paterson, N.J., for failing to pay an $11,214 award in favor of a Florida seller. Peter L. Perez was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business. Back in 2012 and 2013 Havana Produce was mentioned in a couple PACA actions as a continuation of Paterson-based Casa De Campo Inc., which failed to pay $373,990 to produce sellers. At that time, the USDA found Havana Produce unfit to be licensed under the PACA. 
  • Exclusive Produce Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y., for failing to pay a $21,375 award in favor of a Nevada seller. Farid Isakov was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
 
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