Stewart Parnell, the former owner of the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America, may be sentenced to life in prison for knowingly manufacturing peanut butter contaminated with salmonella.
Parnell was convicted last September for shipping salmonella-tainted peanut butter across the country from the Georgia-based plant. This was the same peanut butter responsible for the salmonella outbreak in 46 states back in 2008 and 2009. Nine people died and more than 700 were sickened.
Parnell was also found guilty of wire fraud and obstruction of justice relating to the 2008 to 2009 salmonella outbreaks. He and his brother Michael were caught faking lab tests to manufacture the contaminated peanut butters.
The U.S. Probation Office concluded that Parnell’s crimes “results in a life sentence Guidelines range.” Food Safety Magazine reports that this is the first federal felony conviction related to food safety.
Parnell is scheduled to hear his sentence by a federal judge on September 21 in Albany, Georgia.