The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has found Nicholas Allen responsibly connected to Allens Inc., Siloam Springs, Ark. Allens Inc. failed to pay $9,759,843 to 40 produce sellers for 2,312 lots of produce, which is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). This is an update regarding Press Release No: 163-19 issued on Dec. 11, 2019.
Nicholas Allen challenged the initial determination that he was responsibly connected to Allens Inc., but the determination was affirmed by USDA’s Judicial Officer. Nicholas Allen appealed the Judicial Officer’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals, Washington D.C. Circuit. On Feb. 24, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals ordered that the motion for voluntary dismissal be granted and the case was therefore dismissed.
As a result, Nicholas Allen may not be employed or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Feb. 24, 2021, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond. In addition, Nicholas Allen cannot be licensed in the produce industry until Feb. 24, 2022, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.
The PACA Division, which is a part of AMS’ Fair Trade Practices Program, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses that are operating subject to 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 M. Hubbs, Chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873, or by email at PACAInvestigations@usda.gov.
Release No.: 052-20