WASHINGTON — As part of its commitment to ensuring fair and competitive markets for the livestock, meat and poultry industries, on June 20, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an administrative complaint against Euclid Stockyards Inc. (Euclid) and Jeremy T. Gorham (J.T. Gorham) of Ontario, Calif., for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service revealed that Euclid, and its owner J.T. Gorham, sold livestock to American Beef Packers Inc. on a commission basis, while not doing so openly and at the highest available bid. These sales occurred between July 9, 2014 and October 31, 2014. Additionally, Euclid and J.T. Gorham failed to properly use its custodial account by unlawfully using funds from the account as compensation for the private sales.
A custodial account is a trust account designated for shippers’ proceeds from the sale of livestock in trust for consignors. Operating a sale for commission without doing so openly at the highest available bid and the custodial account misuse are violations of the P&S Act and places livestock sellers at risk.
Euclid and J.T. Gorham have 20 business days following receipt of the complaint to file an answer to the allegations.
The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties of 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, Euclid and J.T. Gorham 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.
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