The Department of Justice has announced that it is suing Hallmark/Westland Meat Co. for the company’s transgressions that led to the largest beef recall in U.S. history.
The agency is seeking $150 million in taxpayer money paid to the Chino, Calif.-based company over a five-year period, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The Department of Justice law suit intervenes in a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States.
The complaint alleges Hallmark, once the second largest supplier to the National School Lunch Program, fraudulently represented that all cattle slaughtered at the facility were humanely handled and that no meat from non-ambulatory animals entered the food supply.
A HSUS video showed company workers abusing non-ambulatory cattle, which led Hallmark to issue a recall of 143 million pounds of beef in February 2008. HSUS filed the suit the same month. By law, the suit was kept under seal until the government completed its own investigation.