J & J Meat Distributing Inc. and Manager Plead Guilty
Convicted: J & J Meat Distributing Inc. and Pietro (Peter) Armata
Location: 14600 10th Concession, Township of King Ontario
Description of Offence:
J & J Meat Distributing Inc. was convicted of four counts of knowingly and falsely identifying ungraded beef as veal on sales invoices, contrary to the provisions of Ontario Regulation 266/09 under the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001.
Pietro (Peter) Armata was convicted of one count of obstructing an inspector by providing false or misleading information, specifically by altering copies of the invoices from veal to ungraded beef, contrary to the provisions of the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001.
Date of Offence:
- J & J Meat Distributing Inc. - February 4th, 2015 to June 29th, 2016.
- Pietro (Peter) Armata - May 2nd, 2016
Date of Conviction: June 27th, 2019
- J & J Meat Distributing Inc. - $7,500.00 fine on each count, plus a $7,500.00 Victim Fine Surcharge - totaling $37,500.00
- Pietro (Peter) Armata - $2,000.00, plus a $500.00 Victim Fine Surcharge - totaling $2,500.00
On May 2, 2012, a pre-announced audit of J & J Meat Distributing Inc. by inspectors with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) revealed several invoices that had been altered. The operator misled customers into thinking they were purchasing veal as described on the sales invoices, and then presented copies of the invoices to inspectors which were altered to describe the product as ungraded beef.
OMAFRA investigators conducted a full investigation into the sale of ungraded beef as veal by J & J Meat Distributing Inc. A search warrant was executed at the office of the company and revealed the following regarding the four counts to which the company pleaded guilty:
- At least 70 invoices were altered from ungraded beef to veal during the offence period
- At least 15,000 pounds of ungraded beef had been sold as veal during the offence period
- The value of ungraded beef sold as veal during the offence period was at least $60,000.00
It was determined that Pietro Armata knowingly altered 12 of the original company copies of the invoices that were provided to the OMAFRA inspectors at the time of the May 2, 2016 audit, crossing out the word "veal" and replacing it with the words "ungraded beef".