Three years after the indictment of Rhode Island Beef and Veal, Michael A. Quattrucci will, in July, stand for sentencing after pleading guilty on two counts of defrauding customers.
Quattrucci, the president and treasurer of the company is also charged with using an official USDA mark of inspection on beef without authorization of the Secretary of Agriculture. He and Rhode Island Beef and Veal entered into plea agreements with the government, which were entered and accepted on June 8.
Court documents are less clear on the status of Joel Quattrucci, vice president and secretary of Rhode Island Beef and Veal. In the original three-count indictment, Joel and Michael were both said to have “operating knowledge of the activities of the business.”
Both are free on unsecured bonds of $10,000.
At the July sentencing, Michael A. Quattrucci, if the Court were to impose consecutive sentences, could be incarcerated for six years, fined $20,000, and required to pay a special assessment of $200.
As a corporate entity, Rhode Island Beef and Veal agreed to a plea agreement that at maximum could mean 15 years of probation, a $30,000 fine, and a special assessment of $300.
Since the indictment was made public on Oct. 30, 2020, the United States vs. Rhode Island Beef and Veal has had more postponements and cancellations than most felony criminal cases. It was scheduled for trial in both 2022 and 2023, and the mostly pandemic-related delays finally led to the plea agreements, which began occurring in March this year.
The charges were filed under the Federal Meat Inspection Act. Count One said customers were defrauded by the defendant’s use of the official USAD mark of inspection without authorization of the Secretary of Agriculture. Count Two said customers were defrauded by representations that products were inspected and passed under the Federal Meat Inspection Act. And Count Three was for preparing beef as food without complying with inspection requirements
The felony criminal acts were said to have occurred on Aug. 28 and 29, 2019. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Rhode Island reports how it all went down:
“According to information presented to the court, on August 20, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service served RI Beef and Veal with a notice of suspension and withdrew its inspector.
“Eight days after the suspension was imposed and the inspector was withdrawn, a USDA supervisor visited the plant and found employees packing various cuts of meat and applying USDA marks of inspections to the meat. Additionally, packaged meat with USDA stickers attached was found stored in five bins. No inspector was present, as is required by law for these marks to be applied.
“A day later, a USDA investigator visited the slaughterhouse and took photos of the illegally marked packages of beef that had been retained from the day before; he also noted 224 pounds of unmarked ground beef and a 594-pound half carcass of beef that had been freshly cut into primal parts for delivery to a customer in Connecticut who supplies meat products to restaurants.”
Michael Quattrucci is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26, 2023; Rhode Island Beef and Veal is scheduled to be sentenced on September 7, 2023. He will be sentenced for pleading guilty to Courts Two and Three.
Joel Quattrucci was designated to represent Rhode Island Beef and Veal at the Change of Plea hearing on June 8. He accepted the plea agreement for the company, but it is unclear from court documents if his change of plea was included..
Nevertheless, it does appear that at the sentencing date, the Rhode Island Beef and Veal criminal case will be wrapped up. Under the agreements, defendants promise to plead guilty and submit financial information to the Court.
The government agrees to dismiss the rest of the indictment and recommend sentencing as agreed, but the Court isn’t entirely bound by the agreement.
According to the Rhode Island Beef and Veal website, the slaughterhouse specialized in custom slaughtering for local farmers and organizations, with fresh local meats available at its retail store. USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service did the original investigation.
The status of Rhode Island Beef and Veal, which was located in Johnston, RI, since the indictment is not clear.
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