trumps that of nearly every other creditor, including secured lenders like Midwest. Indeed, the bank's security interest went only to property belonging to Gatziolis. By law, the money owed to Continental belonged not to Gatziolis, but to the PACA trust.
Midwest's only other argument on this point is that it is not required to treat the funds as PACA trust funds since Gatziolis did not treat the account like a trust account. The relevance of that allegation is not clear. If the bank is arguing that the money was not in trust, it is wrong. However Gatziolis treated the money, it was nonetheless in trust by statute. Continental has clearly demonstrated its likelihood of success in this matter.
4. Public Interest
Finally, the court must consider whether the public interest favors the issuance of the injunction. Quite clearly, it does. Congress enacted PACA in order to protect the public interest. As the court noted above, Congress intended the statute to prevent the harm to commerce which inevitably occurs when secured creditors, including secured lenders, dissipate monies which rightfully belong to, and should have been held in trust for produce sellers. 7 U.S.C. § 499e(c)(1). Yet defendants nonetheless insist that no such harm is threatened here. In this matter, the court defers to Congress' judgment regarding the public interest rather than defendants and Congress quite clearly has stated that the public interest lies in the protection of produce sellers such as Continental.
Accordingly, the court finds that all proceeds or accounts receivable generated from the sale of those perishable agricultural commodities delivered to Gatziolis by Continental on April 10, 15, 18, 23, 26, and May 3, (for a total value of $ 66,404.50) and which are now in the possession of any of the defendants to this action, are assets belonging to the statutory trust created by the 1984 Amendment to PACA.
Midwest Bank & Trust Co. is therefore ordered to pay into a separate, interest bearing account of a nationally chartered banking institution of the State of Illinois $ 64,404.50, pending satisfaction of defendants' trust obligations under 7 U.S.C. § 499e(c). Midwest shall deliver notice of such deposit to the court and to Continental within ten days of the date of this order.