4 complaints issued for violations of Packers and Stockyards Act

Citations and fines have been levied in four cases in the past month in the High Plains Journal coverage area by the Agricultural Marketing Service, which investigates violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The AMS issued an administrative complaint against Bruce D. Camenzind, who was doing business as the Clarence E. Camenzind Funnel Trust; BK Farms; Dixon Ranch (Camenzind), Blair, Nebraska.

In its investigation, the AMS found Camenzind failed to pay $25,853 for 64 head of livestock purchased in seven transactions from June 5 to July 31, 2017, and he also failed to pay, when due, the full price for livestock purchases in 20 transactions from April 21 to July 26, 2017. Payment for all livestock is due before the close of the business day following the purchase and transfer of possession of the livestock. The investigation also found Camenzind issued four insufficient checks to livestock sellers totaling $55,847. Dealers must maintain sufficient funds on deposit and available in the account upon which checks are drawn to support payment when presented.

In a previous order issued in June 2012, the AMS stated Camenzind was assessed a $30,000 penalty, of which $25,000 was held in abeyance for 18 months for failing to pay when due the full purchase price of livestock within the required time period and failing to have and maintain sufficient funds on deposit and available in the account upon which checks were drawn when presented.

Casey Wilmot, of Nebraska, entered into a stipulation agreement for operating after his bond was terminated and he paid a $2,375 penalty. On July 20, Wilmot provided proof of proper bond coverage.

The investigation revealed that he had been operating without bond coverage since his bond expired on March 31, 2017. Wilmot bought cattle on commission for the account of others at posted stockyards in Nebraska. The investigation showed 32 separate livestock purchases made from April 11 to June 2, 2017, and he received $9,500 in buying commissions.

An administrative complaint was filed against S&S Buying Inc. and Troy Siebels, Stamford, Nebraska, which alleges that from March 24 to June 6, 2017, Siebels engaged in business as a dealer buying and selling livestock in commerce by purchasing 408 head of livestock from four different livestock auctions for $325,144 but he failed to pay when due the full purchase. The complaint also alleges Siebels failed to pay for livestock purchases within the time required in eight transactions involving his purchase of 445 head of livestock from two different auctions for $492,133. The complaint further alleges in the eight transactions, Siebels issued checks that were returned unpaid by the bank because of insufficient dollars.

A complaint was issued against John Cathey, Pomona, Missouri, that began in April 2014 when he notified the Packers and Stockyards Division he had discontinued his livestock business. As a result his registration became inactive effective April 17, 2014. On April 25, 2014, PSD provided Cathey a certified notice that his bond coverage would lapse on May 27, 2014.

An investigation by the PSD revealed that between Jan. 13 and Aug. 25, 2015, Cathey bought 1,043 head of cattle worth about $1.69 million. In the transactions Cathey earned $8,035.74 in commissions while engaged in business as a market agency buying livestock without obtaining an adequate bond or bond equivalent.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].