Former Peanut King Gets 28 Years in Prison
The former CEO of the Peanut Corporation of America, Stewart Parnell, landed a 28-year prison sentence for knowingly distributing tainted food. Peanut butter paste contaminated by salmonella led to nine deaths and more than 700 people sickened; Parnell, knowing of the contamination, had emailed a plant manager "Just ship it." The 61-year-old's sentence is the first time there's been a federal felony conviction for a corporate executive on food poisoning charges. The longest sentence to date in a case related to food poisoning, it will "send a stiff, cold wind through board rooms across the US," food safety lawyer Bill Marler told CNN. Parnell's brother got a 20-year sentence, and the peanut processing plant's quality assurance manager got five years. [CNN]
The DOJ's targeting of individuals won't be limited to food-safety cases. It recently announced policies that will emphasize investigations and prosecutions of corporate execs and employees in white-collar matters. A memo authored by Deputy AG Sally Yates points out, for instance, that "DOJ attorneys should not resolve matters with a corporation without a clear plan to resolve related individual cases."