WASHINGTON, March 22, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) reached a consent decision with John P. McGraw (McGraw), a dealer buying and selling livestock on commission for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. The consent decision was signed by Administrative Law Judge, Jill S. Clifton, on February 27, 2019.
AMS conducted an investigation that revealed McGraw was paying timely for livestock purchases, but some of his buyer invoices had been adjusted at markets in Missouri resulting in the creation of false invoices to mark-up livestock prices.
AMS found that from January 2015 through July 2015, adjustments were made to seven invoices and McGraw would request that livestock be transferred to other livestock buyer account numbers at a higher price than originally purchased. Creating purchase invoices that do not fully and correctly disclose transactional information is a violation of the P&S Act and regulations.
Under the consent decision, McGraw was ordered to cease and desist from engaging in unfair, unjustly discriminatory and deceptive trade practices by generating or causing to be generated purchase invoices with false information. In addition, McGraw was assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $6,500.
The P&S Act is a fair trade practice and payment protection law that promotes fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat and poultry industries.