28 May 2022, US: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reached a consent decision against Gregg Ebner Jr. (Ebner) of Wichita Falls, Texas, on May 23, 2022, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revealed that between May 2019 and July 2019, Ebner engaged in the business of a market agency, buying livestock on commission without obtaining the necessary bond coverage as required by the Act and Regulations. Ebner was found purchasing 709 head of livestock from one livestock seller in the amount of $488,940 as a market agency buying livestock on commission.
The P&S Act requires subject entities, such as market agencies, to obtain and maintain adequate bond or bond equivalent. Failure to obtain and maintain an adequate bond is an unfair trade practice and a violation of the P&S Act.
Under the Consent Decision, Ebner has been ordered to cease and desist from operating without bond coverage to obtain and file a $10,000 bond with AMS. Ebner was assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $2,500.
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.