Former Rancho Feeding Operations co-owner Robert Singleton has agreed to plead guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the distribution of condemned and diseased cattle in violation of the Federal Meat Inspection Act and will testify against the other owner of the now-defunct slaughterhouse operation and its employees. United States v. Singleton, No. 14-cr-441 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., San Francisco Div., entered August 22, 2014). Additional details about the criminal allegations appear in Issue 535 of this Update.
As part of the agreement, Singleton, who is 77, will cooperate with the U.S. attorney’s office, surrender any assets acquired as a result of the alleged illegal conduct, and permanently cease and desist from owning, operating or managing a meat-processing facility or slaughterhouse. The agreement contains admissions as to all of the conduct alleged in the information filed against Singleton, including instructing employees to swap the heads of healthy cattle for those of diseased cattle before inspection and removing “USDA Condemned” stamps from cattle carcasses that were processed for transport and distribution. See Law360, August 25, 2014.