AMS Issues Complaint against Larson Livestock Inc. and Carson Larson for Alleged Violations of the P&S Act
WASHINGTON, April 23, 2019 – On April 16, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued an administrative complaint against Larson Livestock Inc. and Carson Larson (Larson) of Columbia, S.D., for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Larson will have until 20 days following receipt of the complaint to respond directly to the USDA Administrative Law Judge or be found in violation and subject to penalty.
An investigation by AMS revealed from November 2015 to March 2016 that Larson falsified purchase prices and weights in approximately 21 transactions involving 41 head of cattle. Larson also coordinated with Sisseton Livestock of Sisseton, South Dakota to alter invoices in approximately 22 transactions from December 2015 to March 2016. From September 2015 to March 2016, Larson falsified invoices to show the purchase of 19 head of cattle that did not exist. Additionally, from July 2017 to December 2017, Larson bought back 788 head of his own livestock that had been purchased at a lower price to fill orders for his principal.
Falsifying prices, weights, invoices, and the consignment and sale of livestock, or buying back livestock that was originally purchased at a lower price to fill orders are unfair and deceptive practices and are violations of the P&S Act.
The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $11,000 per violation against any person after notice and opportunity for hearing on the record. If the allegations are admitted, or proven in an oral hearing, Larson may be ordered to cease and desist from violating the (P&S) Act and assessed a civil penalty.
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 Stuart Frank, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (515) 323-2586, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.