21 September 2015

28 Years

Former president of Peanut Corporation of America, Stewart Parnell, was sentenced to 28 years in prison for knowing shipping salmonella contaminated peanuts around the country:
Former peanut company executive Stewart Parnell was hit with a virtual life prison term Monday for his 2014 conviction on crimes related to a salmonella outbreak blamed for killing nine and sickening hundreds.

A federal judge in Georgia sentenced the 61-year-old former head of Peanut Corporation of America to 28 years behind bars, imposing potentially the toughest punishment in U.S. history for a producer in a food-borne illness case.

U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands also sentenced the former executive's brother, Michael Parnell, 56, to serve a 20-year prison term. The relative and co-defendant was a broker who provided food manufacturing giant Kellogg's with peanut paste from his brother's company.

Mary Wilkerson, 41, a former quality control manager at the now-defunct peanut firm, drew a five-year prison term for her conviction on obstruction in the tragedy.

Sands also ordered both Parnells to surrender, rejecting defense arguments that the two should be allowed to remain free on bond pending appeals. The judge deemed them potential flight risks.


The case stemmed from Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention findings that traced a national salmonella outbreak to the Parnell company's peanut roasting plant in Blakely, Ga. The outbreak sickened 714 people in 46 states and may have contributed to nine deaths, the CDC reported.

The illnesses began in January 2009 and ultimately prompted one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history.

A federal jury convicted Parnell last September on 71 criminal counts, including conspiracy, obstruction of justice and introduction of adulterated food. The verdict came after prosecutors presented evidence that Parnell and the co-defendants knowingly shipped salmonella-tainted peanut butter from the Georgia facility to Kellogg’s and other customers — who in turn used it in products ranging from packaged crackers to pet food.
How about some similar sentences for corrupt bankers?


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