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criminal charges

DeCosters make Top 10 list of cases justices should have heard

It won’t get either of the DeCosters a better place in the lunch line or relief from working a shift in the laundry, but their case has made the “Top Ten” of October-term certiorari petitions the Supreme Court should have granted. The annual list by the 40-year-old Washington Legal Foundation (WLF), which advocates for “a sound free… Continue Reading

Controlling bad eggs — on the farm and in the C-Suite


Editor’s note: This column by Tommy Tobin was first published by the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School. Food can — and all too often does — make people sick. Anyone who has suffered from foodborne illness would be unlikely to want to repeat the experience. The… Continue Reading

Parnell-Wilkerson appeal sends feds scrambling for more time

While he is not conceding anything to the appellants, the attorney who’s been assigned to represent the government on the Peanut Corporation of America criminal appeals says he needs more time. John-Alex Romano, the attorney from the Department of Justice’s appellate section for the criminal division, has asked for 60 additional days to prepare and… Continue Reading

Criminal plea hearing will likely end decade-old Peter Pan case

The new Department of Justice’s official guidance for holding individuals responsible for corporate wrongdoing will be honored in the breach tomorrow in a federal courtroom in Albany, GA. Instead, any concern about holding individual responsible for wrongdoing will likely be swept aside with a corporate payment of the largest criminal fine ever  in a U.S…. Continue Reading

Top food safety prosecutor continues accountability approach

The Justice Department’s top food safety prosecutor says the year-old “Yates Memo,” about holding individuals at corporations accountable, is “still evolving.” In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday at the Food and Drug Law Institute’s Enforcement, Litigation and Compliance Conference, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer said  “the memo’s changes in emphasis are yet to… Continue Reading

Miami cheese company owner draws 15-month prison term

The owner of Miami-based cheese company Oasis Brands Inc. is the most recent company executive to be sentenced for criminal violations related to pathogen-contaminated food linked to a deadly outbreak. U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. sentenced Christian Rivas on Monday to serve a total of 15 months in federal prison. Rivas negotiated a… Continue Reading

New normal: Roos Foods fined $100,000 in criminal food case

When a business is found responsible for sickening people with a foodborne illness, the new normal is the filing of criminal charges. The latest to find that out is Delaware’s Roos Foods Inc., which shut down two years ago after the FDA revoked the company’s food facility registration over its role in a Listeria outbreak. Not so… Continue Reading

Peanut Corp. Executives Plead Innocent

Four of the Peanut Corporation of America executives indicted with federal criminal charges last week have pleaded innocent to the 76-count charges that include fraud, conspiracy, and the introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead, the Associated Press reports. PCA CEO and President Stewart Parnell, PCA food broker… Continue Reading

Peanut Corp. Victims: Indictment Sets an Example

Following the U.S. Department of Justice’s indictment of former Peanut Corporation of America executives on Thursday, the families of victims poisoned by the company responded with joy and relief at the prospect of a criminal trial four years after the company caused a nationwide Salmonella outbreak that killed nine people and sickened more than 700…. Continue Reading

Peanut Corp. Hearings: What Happens Now?

Four years after a Salmonella outbreak was processed, packaged, and delivered to customers around the country, the Department of Justice charged five Peanut Corporation of America executives and employees with an array of federal crimes, but with a criminal justice system that presumes innocence — and with the potential for a long trial ahead —… Continue Reading