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$1M PACA violator among three companies with USDA restrictions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on three produce businesses for failing to meet more than $1 million total in contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.

These sanctions include suspending the businesses’ PACA licenses and barring the principal operators of the businesses from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.

The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:

  • Frozen Food Development Inc., operating out of Lancaster, PA, for failing to pay a $1 million award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Gary H. Gregory was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
  • Parimar Inc., doing business as D. DeFranco & Sons, operating out of Los Angeles, for failing to pay a $31,200 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Gerald S. DeFranco, Paul F. DeFranco and Richard J. DeFranco were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
  • Hurst Produce Inc., operating out of Ephrata, PA, for failing to pay a $19,767 award in favor of an Ohio seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Matilde Baez was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.

In the past three years, USDA handled more than 2,340 cases valued at $126.3 million. PACA staff also assisted over 5,600 callers with issues valued at $146.7 million.

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