28-years for Former Head of Peanut Corporation of America

By Schonauer Law on Sep 22, 2015 at 07:44 AM in Law News

Yesterday, a federal judge in Georgia sentenced the 61-year-old Stewart Parnell, the former head of Peanut Corporation of America, to 28 years behind bars.  The sentence is potentially the toughest punishment for a producer in a food-borne illness case in U.S. history.  Stewart Parnell’s brother, Michael Parnell, 56, was also sentenced to a 20-year prison term, and Mary Wilkerson, 41, a former quality control manager was sentenced to five-year prison term for her conviction on obstruction in the tragedy.

Last September a federal jury convicted Parnell on 71 criminal counts that included conspiracy, obstruction of justice and introduction of adulterated food.  At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Parnell and other co-defendants knowingly shipped salmonella-tainted peanut butter to Kellogg’s and other customers.