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JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The owner of a Johnston slaughterhouse pleaded guilty to fraud charges after claiming the beef was federally inspected when it wasn’t, according to United States Attorney Zachary Cunha.

Michael Quattrucci, owner of Rhode Island Beef and Veal, admitted in federal court that he defrauded customers by placing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection stamps on products without the proper authorization to do so.

Quattrucci was charged back in August 2019, after Cunha said a USDA inspector visited the slaughterhouse and handed him a suspension notice.

Cunha said a USDA supervisor returned to the slaughterhouse a week later and discovered that the plant was still open.

The supervisor reportedly saw employees packaging meat and putting USDA marks of inspection stickers on the packages. By law, a USDA inspector must be present for the stamps to be applied.

Cunha said an investigator visited the plant the next day and uncovered hundreds of pounds of unmarked beef still being packaged and sent to a restaurant supplier in Connecticut.

Quattrucci is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26.

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