Federal Food Stamp Program. Under the program, only foods
defined by the Act as "eligible" may be purchased in exchange
for food stamp coupons through authorized retail food stores.
Title 7, U.S.C.A. § 2011 et seq.
On five separate days in July, 1967, three shoppers of the
Department of Agriculture officially visited the plaintiff in
connection with an investigation. On all five occasions, these
professional shoppers used food stamp coupons to purchase
non-food items deemed ineligible under the Food Stamp Act.
Title 7, U.S.C.A. § 2012(b); 7 C.F.R. § 1600.2(i). In each of
these five irregular transactions, cash was given as change, in
violation of the rules and regulations. 7 C.F.R. § 1600.2(d).
The record shows that the plaintiff had been previously warned
on numerous occasions over a two-year period concerning
irregular transactions on visits by employees of the Department
The Consumer and Marketing Service sent the plaintiff a
letter of charges, dated September 21, 1967, advising the
plaintiff of its alleged violations and of its right to
respond. On September 27, 1967, Alan Nabat, Vice President of
N & S Certified, visited the Cook County Field Office of the
Food Stamp Program to answer the letter of charges. He stated
that he had no first-hand knowledge and could not deny nor
admit any of the twelve (12) charges contained in the letter.
After a review and evaluation of this matter, the Officer in
Charge of the Cook County Field Office recommended that the
plaintiff be disqualified from participation in the Food Stamp
Program for a period of sixty (60) days. The Midwest Director
concurred and recommended the 60-day period of
disqualification to the Director of the Food Stamp Division,
Washington, D.C., who issued the recommended order.
On January 9, 1968, the plaintiff requested a review by the
Food Stamp Review Officer, Washington, D.C., stating that Alan
Nabat had given each cashier specific instructions concerning
the Food Stamp Program, that the cashiers understood the rules
and regulations, that one of the clerks involved in the
irregular transactions had been discharged, that the owners
knew nothing of the violations and tried to prevent them from
occurring, and that the violations were committed without the
consent or knowledge of the plaintiff. After the Food Stamp
Review Officer affirmed the 60-day disqualification, the
plaintiff brought this action for judicial review. The
disqualification period has been stayed pending review.
The plaintiff does not deny the alleged irregular
transactions, but alleges that the officers of its corporation
knew nothing of the violations charged, tried to prevent the
violations and that the violations occurred without their
consent. However, a corporation is responsible for the acts of
its agents even though the acts are committed without the
knowledge of the officers of the corporation. Gleason v.
Seaboard Air Line Railway Co., 278 U.S. 349, 49 S.Ct. 161, 73
L.Ed. 415 (1929); United States v. United States Cartridge
Co., 198 F.2d 456 (8th Cir. 1952). The record shows that the
plaintiff was disqualified from further participation in the
Food Stamp Program by the Consumer and Marketing Service for
a reasonable, definitely-stated period of time because of its
failure to comply with the Food Stamp Act and its regulations.
The scope of judicial review for administrative decisions made
under the Food Stamp Program was limited by Congress to a
determination as to whether the agency's decision is valid.
Title 7, U.S.C.A. § 2022. Findings of an administrative agency
are to be accepted upon judicial review unless they are
unsupported by substantial evidence. O'Leary v.
Brown-Pacific-Maxon, Inc., et al., 340 U.S. 504, 71 S.Ct. 470,
95 L.Ed. 483 (1951). The pleadings clearly contain substantial
evidence to support the agency's decision in disqualifying the
plaintiff from participation in the Food Stamp Program for 60
For the foregoing reasons, it is ordered that the
defendant's motion for summary judgment be, and it is hereby
granted, and the cause is hereby dismissed, with costs to the
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