(a) Any person, firm, or corporation who violates any provision of this or the previous Article or any regulation of the Board for which no other criminal penalty is provided by this or the previous Article is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor; but if such violation involves intent to defraud, or any distribution or attempted distribution of an article that is adulterated (except as defined in G.S. 106-549.15(1)h, such person, firm or corporation is guilty of a Class H felony which may include a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Provided, that no person, firm, or corporation shall be subject to penalties under this section for receiving for transportation any article or animal in violation of this or the previous Article if such receipt was made in good faith, unless such person, firm, or corporation refuses to furnish on request of a representative of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Service the name and address of the person from whom he received such article or animal, and copies of all documents, if any there be, pertaining to the delivery of the article or animal to him.
(b) Nothing in this Article shall be construed as requiring the Commissioner or his authorized representative to report for prosecution or for the institution of condemnation or injunction proceedings, minor violations of this Article whenever he believes that the public interest will be adequately served by a suitable written notice of warning.
(c) The Commissioner may assess a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) against any person who violates a provision of this Article or Article 49B, or any rule promulgated thereunder. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Commissioner shall consider the degree and extent of harm caused by the violation.
The clear proceeds of civil penalties assessed pursuant to this subsection shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2. (1969, c. 893, s. 21; 1995, c. 516, s. 5; 1998-215, s. 17; 1999-408, s. 6.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014