Silver Dollar Sales in Golden.
As expected, Randy Sparks of Belmont pleaded guilty Monday in the U.S. District Court in Seattle to conspiracy to transport property taken by fraud in interstate commerce.
Earlier this month, Sparks, the owner of Silver Dollar Sales in Golden, was charged with conspiring with others to resell food products that were supposed to become animal feed or be used for agricultural purposes.
U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes, said Sparks, 60, admitted he purchased various food and drink products from a middleman who had agreed to destroy the goods. Sparks then resold the products from his own grocery outlet, Silver Dollar Sales, or sold them to other discount grocery chains. The investigation did not uncover any illnesses resulting from the sales. The Court will determine any restitution owed to the victims, up to an amount of $103,709 at the time of sentencing, currently set before U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on Sept. 7.
According to records filed in the case, the scheme involved as many as 180 truckloads of food and beverage products from 10 different food producers. The plea agreement details how Sparks and a co-conspirator defrauded a Massachusetts-based company that arranged for the disposal and destruction of unsaleable food products.
Between July 2014 and October 2016, Sparks and a co-conspirator said that the commodities would be shipped to a South Dakota-based business for destruction. Instead, they produced fraudulent paperwork regarding the shipping and destruction of the goods, which were shipped to Sparks, who then sold them from his Silver Dollar Sales store or to other discount grocery chains.
The plea agreement describes how in May 2015, a juice producer in Selah, Washington, wanted 22 truckloads of apple juice destroyed because it did not meet their production standards. The producer arranged for the juice to be shipped to South Dakota to be recycled into animal feed. Instead, Sparks shipped the juice through Seattle to Mississippi, and then sold it to outlets in Mississippi and California. The conspirators then presented the brokerage company with false documents about the destruction of the juice and the shipping history, which were ultimately provided to the manufacturer. The scheme was uncovered when some of the product was discovered on a store shelf in Maryland.
Some 10 producers of food and beverage products had paid a combined $107,256 to have their products destroyed by Sparks, who instead redistributed the products.
The case was investigated by the Food and Drug Administration.