Iowa egg producer admits trying to bribe USDA inspector

Eggs

The former manager of Iowa egg farms at the heart of a 2010 salmonella outbreak pleaded guilty to trying to bribe a USDA inspector with $300. 

Tony Wamsund, 61, of Wilmar, Minnesota entered the plea Wednesday, September 12, 2012 in federal court in Sioux City, Iowa.

Wamsund worked for DeCoster farms in Wright County, Iowa.  The DeCoster facility was blamed for a nationwide salmonella outbreak that sickened about 2,000 people.  The former DeCoster facility is now Centrum Valley Farms. 

The Associated Press reported Centrum Valley Farms was warned in a recent letter from the FDA that a separate strain of salmonella bacteria had been found in May 2012 in two of its six poultry houses in Clarion, Iowa. 

Wamsund was accused of authorizing an employee to give a $300 bribe to a USDA inspector in April 2010, in hopes of getting approval to sell eggs withheld for failing to meet USDA standards.   Wamsund admitted to conspiring with at least one other person to bribe a public official.

Wamsund faces a maximum of five years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.  He’ll also be subject to up to three years of supervised release following any prison time.

Wamsund remained free on bond to await sentencing.

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