August 24, 2019
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Egg mogul DeCoster and son seek to serve prison sentences in New Hampshire

Yuri Gripas | Reuters file
Yuri Gripas | Reuters file
Austin "Jack" DeCoster (left), owner of Wright County Egg, and his son Peter DeCoster testify before the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on the “Outbreak of Salmonella in Eggs” on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 22, 2010.

BERLIN, New Hampshire — A Midwestern egg mogul and his son are asking to serve their sentences at the federal corrections facility in Berlin.

Attorneys representing Austin “Jack” DeCoster, 82, and his son, Peter DeCoster, filed a motion in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, where the family owned and operated an egg production facility linked to a major salmonella outbreak in 2010 that sickened thousands.

The DeCosters were sentenced two years ago to three-month prison terms after pleading guilty to introducing adulterated eggs into interstate commerce. The DeCosters have been appealing the sentences; Jack DeCoster and his wife, Pat, have since permanently relocated to their home in Turner, Maine. The family previously ran several egg operations in Maine.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case last month, essentially putting an end to the DeCosters’ appeals.

The motion filed last Monday requests that Jack DeCoster serve his sentence in Berlin, which is the minimum-security federal facility closest to his family in Maine and his doctors.

“The Satellite Prison Camp at FCI Berlin is more likely to have conditions and medical resources appropriate for an inmate of Jack DeCoster’s age and health,” the motion states.

The request also asks the court to allow Peter to report after July 20 so he can attend his daughter’s wedding July 15 in Iowa. The motion asks the court to let the elder DeCoster begin his sentence 30 days after Peter completes his.

Peter DeCoster was Quality Egg’s chief operating officer. Jack DeCoster owned the business, which had production operations near Clarion, Iowa. Both received three-month sentences followed by one year of supervised release; they were fined $100,000 each in a plea agreement that included a $6.8 million fine against Quality Egg.

Federal prosecutors said the company for years disregarded food safety standards and misled major customers, including Wal-Mart, about Quality Egg’s safety practices.

Eggs produced and distributed by Quality Egg were linked to 1,939 reported illnesses in a nationwide salmonella outbreak.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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