(SAN FRANCISCO) — The United States Attorney for the Northern District of California announced an indictment against one of two owners — and two employees — of the now-defunct Rancho Feeding Corporation, a Petaluma, California slaughterhouse.
According to the indictment, Jesse Amaral Jr., 76, a co-owner of the slaughterhouse, and employees Eugene Corda, 65, and Felix Cabrera, 55, allegedly conspired to distribute, “adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat.” Documents released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office indicate that between 2012 and Jan. 2014, Amaral told Cabrera to “process” cattle that had been condemned by a United States Department of Agriculture veterinarian. Cabrera then instructed employees to remove stamps from cattle carcasses that read “USDA Condemned” and distribute over 100 condemned cattle.
Additionally, Amaral and co-owner Robert Singleton, 77, are accused of instructing employees to circumvent standard inspection procedures. That action allegedly led to the distribution of approximately 79 diseased cattle.
Amaral is also accused of fraudulently charging farmers “handling fees” based on lies regarding the distribution of their cattle which had either died or been deemed condemned, despite the fact that the cattle had been sold for human consumption anyway.
The illegal actions reportedly led to the recall of over eight million pounds of beef products in February.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Natalie Crofts, KSL.com
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News