WASHINGTON, April 22, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on a produce business for failing to pay a reparation award issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
The award was previously reported as satisfied; however, the check tendered as payment of the award could not be processed due to insufficient funds. The sanctions include suspending the businesses’ PACA license and barring the principal operator of the business from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.
The following business and individual are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry: Alko Green Fresh LLC, BB #:366146 operating out of Las Vegas, Nev., for failing to pay a $19,900 award in favor of an Illinois seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jorge Ortega was listed as member of the business.
PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in USDA’s issuance of a reparation order that requires damages to be paid by those not meeting their contractual obligations in buying and selling fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
USDA is required to suspend the license or impose sanctions on an unlicensed business that fails to pay PACA reparations awarded against it as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business when the order is issued. 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.
By issuing these penalties, USDA continues to enforce the prompt and full payment for produce while protecting the rights of sellers and buyers in the marketplace.
For more information, contact John Koller, Chief, Dispute Resolution Branch, at (202) 720-2890 or PACAdispute@usda.gov.
Release No. 046-22