March 20, 1998
Crawford Takes Action Against Unlicensed Agricultural Dealer
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford has filed a lawsuit against an unlicensed dealer in agricultural products in Monroe County. The lawsuit, filed in circuit court, seeks to collect a fine imposed against The Key Largo Plant Nursery, Inc., and enforce a permanent injunction that forces the company to stop doing business illegally.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services imposed an administrative fine against The Key Largo Plant Nursery, Inc., in a final order last December 5, and also ordered the company to stop engaging in the purchase of agricultural products because it was not lawfully bonded. The company has not paid the fine and has ignored the order, continuing to operate as a dealer in agricultural products without posting a $3,000 surety bond or a certificate of deposit, and without obtaining a license from the Department in violation of the Florida Agriculture License and Bond Law.
"These laws are put into place for a reason, to protect the public and those in the industry who are following the rules," Crawford said. "The Department will not tolerate any business flouting the law and gaining an unfair advantage over competitors."
The law allows the Department to impose an additional $50 per day fine while The Key Largo Plant Nursery, Inc., is in violation of the Departments final order. The additional fine combined with the original $1,000 fine now totals $5,550.
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