WASHINGTON, June 18, 2018 – Courtesy USDA – On June 7, 2018, Nebraska Livestock Sales of Tecumseh, LLC, doing business as Tecumseh Livestock Auction (Tecumseh) in Tecumseh, Nebraska, waived its right to a hearing, entered into a stipulation agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and paid a penalty of $3,000 for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act.
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) investigation of Tecumseh revealed custodial account shortages of $18,116 on Dec. 29, 2017, and of $92,495 on Jan. 25, 2018. A custodial account is a trust account that is a separate bank account designated for shippers’ proceeds. Operating with custodial account shortages is a violation of Section 312(a) of the P&S Act, and places livestock sellers at risk of not being paid timely or at all.
The P&S Act, 1921, (7 U.S.C. § 181, et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties of not more than $11,000 per count against any person who violates the statute(s) cited above, after notice and opportunity for hearing on the record.
USDA enforcement rules provide a mechanism to quickly resolve violations of the P&S Act. USDA may offer alleged violators the option of waiving their right to a hearing and entering into a stipulation agreement to quickly resolve alleged violations.
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.