The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has determined that Jay Pack was not a responsibly connected principal of Huxtable’s Kitchen Inc. (Huxtable’s), Vernon, Calif. This is an update to Press Release No: 150-19 issued on Nov. 6, 2019.
Huxtable’s violated section 2(4) of the PACA by failing to pay $551,829.47 to six sellers for 174 lots of produce that Huxtable’s purchased, received and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from October 2015 to May 2016. The PACA requires USDA to impose sanctions on individuals deemed to be responsibly connected to the business and requires that all principals not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee for two years, or one year with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
USDA made an initial determination that Perry Morgan, Huxtable’s Kitchen Holding Corp., Daniel Weiner, Michelle Brooks, John Dutton, Lewis Macleod and Jay Pack were responsibly connected to Huxtable’s and subject to employment sanctions. Perry Morgan and Huxtable’s Kitchen Holding Corp. did not contest this initial determination and have been held responsibly connected to Huxtable’s. As a result, they may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until July 15, 2020, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond.
David Weiner, Michelle Brooks, John Dutton and Jay Pack disputed the initial responsibly connected determination and have all been found not to be responsibly connected to Huxtable’s. Therefore, they are under no employment sanctions and may be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee. Lewis Macleod is continuing to challenge his responsibly connected status with the company.
The PACA Division, which is part of AMS’ Fair Trade Practices Program, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses that are operating subject to the PACA, including buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry.
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 3,500 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. PACA staff also assisted more than 7,800 callers with issues valued at approximately $148 million. These are just two examples of how USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For further information contact Travis Hubbs, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, or by email at PACAInvestigations@usda.gov.
Release No.: 044-20