Former exec sentenced in counterfeit cheese case

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock
The executive of a cheese company has been sentenced to three years’ probation and a $5,000 fine in a case involving products mislabelled and fraudulently represented as Parmesan and Romano cheese.

Michelle Myrter, 44, had earlier pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of aiding and abetting the introduction of adulterated and misbranded cheese products onto the market.

The law could have seen Myrter jailed for one year and/or fined $100,000.

Earlier this year​ Universal Cheese & Drying and International Packing pled guilty to one count of conspiring to introduce misbranded and adulterated cheese into interstate commerce and to commit money laundering and agreed to pay $500,000 each – they will be sentenced at a later date.

Both companies, which have stopped operating, packed and sold cheese under various labels at the Castle Cheese facility in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.

Adulterated Romano and Parmesan products were sold under several brand names, the owners of which were unaware of the fraud.

Products were misbranded because they did not bear labels that reflected ingredients. They were adulterated as certain ingredients had been substituted or omitted and others had been added. 

The defendants used proceeds to operate manufacturing and packaging at the Slippery Rock facility.

Related topics Regulation & Safety Cheese

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