( Photo courtesy Unsplashed; graphic by Brooke Park )

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on five businesses to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.

The companies and principals, according to the USDA, are:

  • John Lee Jr., doing business as Produce Perfection, Vernon, Calif., for failing to pay $17,228, to a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, John S. Lee Jr., was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.
  • AM Group Inc., Fresno, Calif., for not paying $78,874 to a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Christopher Kim was listed as the officer, director and/or major stockholder of the business.
  • V & M Fresh Produce LLC, Tampa, Fla., for not paying $18,973 to a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Emilia Merchan was listed as a member or manager of the business.
  • New York Produce Inc., Secaucus, N.J., for failing to pay $2,394 to a New Jersey seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Elio Valdivia was listed as the officer, director and/or major stockholder of the business.
  • Start Produce Inc., San Antonio, for failing to pay $8,299 to a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Rohen Pimentel was listed as the officer, director and/or major stockholder of the business.

The sanctions include suspending the companies’ PACA licenses and barring the operators from working at or being affiliated with PACA-licensed businesses.

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