- The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not grant the DeCosters their petitions for a rehearing en banc or a rehearing by a three-judge panel, Food Safety News reported.
- Austin "Jack" DeCoster and son Peter DeCoster will serve three-month jail terms after pleading guilty to one federal count each of introducing adulterated food into instate commerce. The DeCosters also agreed to pay fines of $100,000.
- Their company Quality Egg LLC pleaded guilty to one felony count of bribing a USDA egg inspector and paid a $6.8 million fine. The courts had no evidence that either of the DeCosters knew about the bribe.
The business community, particularly the food and beverage industry, has been closely following this case and the DeCosters' final sentencing and appeals. Because their convictions were misdemeanors, the government did not have to prove "mens rea," or that the convicted had intent or a guilty mind at the time of the crime.
The court did not uphold objections the defendants based on failure to prove the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing involved in a crime. This case could now set a precedent for future misdemeanor charges against food and beverage executives accused of introducing adulterated food into the food supply. Other recent prominent food safety cases have also ended in jail sentences for the executives. William B. Aossey Jr., founder of Midamar Corp., received a two-year federal prison sentence followed by three years of supervised probation, and Stewart Parnell, former CEO of the Peanut Corporation of America, received a 28-year prison sentence.