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Peanut Executive Sentenced to 28 Years in Prison

Former CEO of the defunct Peanut Corp. of America (PCA) Stewart Parnell, 61, was sentenced to 28 years in prison for knowingly shipping deadly food from the company’s peanut plant in Blakely, GA.

The ruling, handed down by a federal judge, is the toughest penalty ever for a corporate executive in a food poisoning outbreak. The salmonella outbreak in 2008 that killed nine people and sickened more than 700 others was traced back to PCA.

Michael Parnell, a food broker and Stewart Parnell’s brother, received a 20-year sentence, and Mary Wilkerson, quality assurance manager, was given five years.

Stewart Parnell was convicted on 72 counts of fraud, conspiracy, and the introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce, a year ago.

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