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Press Release

Stonnie Sullivan Permanently Barred from Buying and Selling Livestock

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky

Paid $31,200 in civil penalties

Agreed to indefinite prohibition from engaging in business for which registration and bonding is required under the Packers and Stockyards Act

Agreed to pay debt to Tennessee livestock market

WASHINGTON - On Aug. 31, 2017, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky, acting on behalf of USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), settled a civil contempt case against Stonnie Sullivan, of Glasgow, Ky. 

Agreed Order to Pay Civil Penalty

On Apr. 11, 2017, Sullivan agreed to pay $16,200 in civil penalties to the United States for violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act and non-compliance with the terms of a Jan. 2012 Consent Decree.  He also committed to pay outstanding penalties imposed by the 2012 Consent Decree.  The U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky (the Court) entered the agreed order to pay civil penalty on Apr. 24, 2017. Sullivan subsequently paid all the penalties, totaling $31,200. He also filed an application for registration and a $75,000 bond.  However, he needed a $90,000 bond to fully comply. 

Agreed Order of Permanent Injunction

On May 30, 2017, a judge for the Court verbally ordered Defendant Sullivan not to buy livestock without first filing adequate bond.  Sullivan continued buying livestock in apparent defiance of the order.  The judge scheduled a criminal contempt trial.

On Aug. 18, 2017, in lieu of trial, Defendant Sullivan admitted that he disobeyed the Court’s verbal order.  The parties entered an agreed order of permanent injunction with the Court on the same day. It bars Sullivan, and any others acting in concert or participation with him for such purpose, indefinitely, from engaging in business in any capacity requiring registration and bonding under the P&S Act and regulations.  Any future violations of the P&S Act or this agreed order by Sullivan and others acting in concert or participation with him, may result in further penalties.

 On Aug. 27, 2017, Defendant Sullivan’s $75,000 bond terminated due to claim activity.  Sullivan has not filed replacement bond coverage with GIPSA.

Order on Motion for Civil Contempt

On Aug. 31, 2017, the Court declined to penalize Defendant Sullivan for the criminal contempt charge.  Due to the agreed permanent injunction, the Court also denied the United States civil contempt motion as moot.  However, the United States may refile its motion if Sullivan does not comply with the permanent injunction. 

Agreed Order to Pay Debt

The parties entered another agreed order with the Court on Aug. 31, 2017.  In it, Defendant Sullivan agreed to compensate a Tennessee market $8,808.37, within one year.  This amount represents the deficiency between the market’s expected recovery against Sullivan’s $75,000.00 bond and his total debt of $83,808.37.

Randall Jones, Acting Administrator of GIPSA, said, “This settlement benefits the industry in two ways. It ensures that Defendant Sullivan pays his obligation and it also deters Sullivan and others from violating the P&S Act and putting livestock sellers at risk.” 

This case was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys Corinne E. Keel and Jessica R. C. Malloy, in consultation with Attorney Elizabeth M. Kruman, USDA’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC).  GIPSA’s Eastern Regional Office conducted the investigation, which OGC referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for civil enforcement. 

The P&S Act is a fair trade practice and payment protection law.  It promotes fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat, and poultry industries.

Updated July 16, 2018

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