Sept. 22, 2015—Stewart Parnell once boasted processing the "finest" peanut products, but on Monday, the former company executive was effectively sentenced to life behind bars for knowingly shipping out deadly food.
A federal judge handed Parnell a 28-year prison sentence, the toughest penalty ever for a corporate executive in a food poisoning outbreak. Parnell is 61 and, unless he wins an appeal, he will have to serve out most of his term.
His brother and food broker Michael Parnell received a 20-year sentence, and the plant's quality assurance manager, Mary Wilkerson, was given five years.
A jury in south Georgia convicted Stewart Parnell a year ago on 72 counts of fraud, conspiracy and the introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce. The former CEO of the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) was sentenced Monday at the same federal court in Albany, not far from the city of Blakely where his peanut processing plant once profited.
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