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Peanut Corporation of America

When food safety crisis hit, Perdue had to prepare for next one

Former Gov. Sonny Purdue is president-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of agriculture.

This century’s most deadly outbreak of foodborne illness came out of the state of Georgia while secretary of agriculture nominee Sonny Perdue was governor, and there was not much he could do about it. After King Nut peanut butter made by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) was implicated in the deadly nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium, investigators from… Continue Reading

Parnell-Wilkerson appeal sends feds scrambling for more time

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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

Top food safety prosecutor continues accountability approach

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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

Appeal briefs filed for Peanut Corporation of America criminal cases

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With their clients starting  their second year behind bars, criminal defense attorneys in the Peanut Corporation of America case finally filed briefs asking for those convictions and sentences to be over-turned. Appellate attorneys for Stewart Parnell, his brother Michael Parnell, and Mary Wilkerson together filed briefs totaling 236 pages on the day after Thanksgiving —… Continue Reading

Wilkerson remains in search of PCA ‘exculpatory documents’

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Mary Wilkerson has been here before. She’s the only defendant in the Peanut Corporation of America criminal case to be convicted and sentenced for the cover-up related to Salmonella testing rather than the criminal conspiracy related to a deadly outbreak. Wilkerson, 43, is serving a five-year sentence at the federal prison in Marianna, FL, for… Continue Reading

PCA team will divide up words before choosing them carefully

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Criminal appeals in the United States are all about words. Appellants cannot change the trial court record. They can make arguments about legal issues raised by the trial court. But rarely is a defendant sprung from prison to hear a new witness or present new evidence. Words, how many and how they are divided up,… Continue Reading

Appellants in PCA criminal case given more time to file briefs

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has set Oct. 5, 2016, as the deadline for appellants Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell and Mary Wilkerson, to file briefs. Originally they were due on June 20. The trio is appealing their convictions and sentences in the Peanut Corporation of America criminal case that went to a jury trial in… Continue Reading

Beach Beat: The big picture is bleak for unsafe food companies

Opinion

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Federal Judge W. Louis Sands drew some harsh comments from Food Safety News readers in recent days for his ruling that corporate executives would not have to pay restitution to victims of a deadly Salmonella outbreak traced to peanut butter and related products. I confess, my initial reaction was similar to those readers who wondered why the judge was… Continue Reading

Bank gets Parnell house in foreclosure ahead of restitution ruling

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The house that once served as headquarters for Peanut Corporation of America is no longer owned by Stewart and Gloria Parnell. The five-bedroom house with four fireplaces site on five acres and has brick patios and walkways with wide planked Arkansas pine floors. It was acquired through foreclosure by American National Bank and Trust Co…. Continue Reading

Sands Offers PCA Defendants Hearings Before Imposing Restitution

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The trial court judge who only recently sent four defendants to federal prison for a total of 57 years is not quite through with them. U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands this week let four of the five who were convicted in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) criminal case know, through their attorneys,… Continue Reading