WASHINGTON – On June 14, 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Charles D. Leonard (Leonard), doing business as Leonard Cattle Company, Springfield, Nebraska, settled a complaint filed against Leonard for suspected violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Terms of the settlement are set forth in a consent decision in which Leonard agreed to cease and desist from violating the P&S Act, and serve a suspension of five years. The consent decision became final and effective on June 14, 2018, upon issuance. As a result, Leonard’s suspension began June 15, 2018.
A USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) investigation preceded the complaint against Leonard, and found Leonard failed to pay $4.7 million; failed to pay when due, delaying payment two to six days; and issued insufficient funds checks for $5.8 million in livestock purchases. These payment practices are all violations of Sections 312 and 409(a) of the P&S Act. The investigation also revealed that Leonard operated while insolvent. AMS defines insolvency as current liabilities exceeding current assets. Leonard’s insolvency ranged from $1.2 million on Aug. 31, 2015, to $3.3 million on Oct. 19, 2015. Insolvency is a violation of 7 U.S.C. 204 and Section 312 of the P&S Act.
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.
For further information about the Packers and Stockyards Act, contact Brett Offutt, Fair Trade Practices Program, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (202) 720-7051, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: USDA AMS