Earlier this year, multiple companies admitted to diluting their Parmesan cheese products with fillers such as wood pulp. Castle Cheese CEO Michelle Myrter pled guilty to charges of fraud and mislabeling.Now, federal prosecutors are asking for Myrter to serve between zero and six months in prison, in addition to doing community service at a food pantry or soup kitchen, Bloomberg reported. In response, her attorney has asked for probation.
Myrter is facing federal charges concerning food adulteration, along with the presidents of two other companies, Universal Cheese & Drying Inc. and International Packing LLC, who also pled guilty to fraud and adulteration charges.
“The motive for doing so was simple – it was less costly for the Corporate Defendants to produce cheap, fake cheese while customers paid premium prices for real cheese,” prosecutors said in the sentencing documents, according to Bloomberg. The companies “reaped the benefit of the difference between the lower costs and the higher revenue.”
The FDA has maintained that separating fraudulent filler cheese from “true cheese” is still a major issue in the American market.