Horse Owners Plead Guilty To USDA Import Violations

The United States Department of Agriculture has announced that horse facility owners Emil and Anna Jung of Gehlenberg-Friesoythe, Germany, have pled guilty to three counts each of false statements and mail fraud. In May of 1998, the Jungs were indicted on conspiracy, smuggling, making false statements to a government agency, and mail fraud charges. These charges arose from an investigation initiated by the investigative and enforcement services unit of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and USDA's Office of the Inspector General.

IES helps the animal and agricultural industries achieve compliance with APHIS regulations. Compliance is accomplished through comprehensive investigations, sound enforcement, and strong educational efforts. In this case, IES was investigating violations of agricultural import rules.

"APHIS import regulations exist to keep exotic plant and animal pests and diseases out of the United States," said Michael V. Dunn, under secretary for USDA's marketing and regulatory programs. "We won't tolerate importers that put American agriculture at risk."

The Jungs imported Holsteiner, Hanoverian, and Oldenberg warmblooded horses from Germany to their large horse facility, Locksley Farms, in Millwood, Va. APHIS import regulations require that any sexually mature breeding mare or stallion, defined as a horse over 731 days of age, undergo certain testing and quarantine requirements to detect the presence of contagious equine metritis, a form of venereal disease. The importer bears the cost of up to $5,000 per horse associated with the testing and quarantine.

The Jungs were charged with, either personally or through agents, supplying or causing to be supplied falsified dates of birth for horses imported from Germany into the United States for the purpose of avoiding CEM testing and quarantine requirements.

The Jungs each face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $750,000. In their plea agreement, they agreed to forfeit their Millwood, Va., farm, instead of forfeiting an estimated $345,000 in fines.

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