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USDA Texas company for $280K PACA violations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on LoneStar Produce Express LLC in San Antonio, TX, for violating the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. These sanctions include barring the business and the principal operators of the business from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.

LoneStar failed to pay $283,844 to nine sellers for produce that was purchased, received and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from December 2017 to October 2019. This is in violation of the PACA. LoneStar cannot operate in the produce industry until Oct. 13, 2022, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.

The company’s principals, Leonidez Fernandez III and Eric Fernandez, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Oct. 13, 2021, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.

USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed willful, repeated and flagrant violations of PACA as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business during the violation period. Those individuals, including sole proprietors, partners, members, managers, officers, directors or major stockholders may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.

In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,625 PACA claims involving more than $104 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 7,600 callers with issues valued at approximately $166 million.

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