WAUCOMA, Iowa (KWWL) -- An influential hog dealer sanctioned twice for defrauding pork producers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars says it has fired employees responsible for its latest violations and paid restitution to affected sellers.
Lynch Livestock, based in Waucoma, also announced pork industry veteran Dan Sutherland would lead the company going forward "as a further safeguard against future violations."
“Dan Sutherland has a long history in the industry and deep experience in matters of compliance,” Gary Lynch said. “Although this situation arose due to the actions of a few employees at one buying station, we take this matter very seriously. We have already made great strides in establishing new processes and procedures to empower employees and ensure producers receive fair compensation. We expect Dan will not only help us move forward with these
initiatives, but also help Lynch Livestock innovate further in this area.”
The company said the employees were manipulating the scale and issuing false tickets at one of the company's hog buying stations. As a result, pork producers received lower payments for their hogs.
Lynch paid a civil penalty and restitution of $445,626, which has been distributed to the producers who were underpaid.
Lynch announced the moves in a press release posted online after The Associated Press reported the U.S. Department of Agriculture had taken enforcement action against the company for illegal buying practices for the second time since 2017.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.