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Date: 12-02-2020

Case Style:

United States of America v. Memet Beqiri, a/b/a Matt Beqiri

Case Number: 3:19-cr-00208-AWT

Judge: Alvin W. Thompson

Court: United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (New Haven County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney’s Office, New Haven, Connecticut

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description: New Haven, Connecticut making false statements or documents criminal defense lawyer represented defendant, Memet Beqiri, a/b/a Matt Beqiri, age 33, of Tolland, who was charged with fabricating E. coli test results at his meat processing business.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Beqiri is the owner and general manager of New England Meat Packing, LLC, located in Stafford Springs, a federally inspected business engaged in the slaughtering, processing, selling and transporting of meat and meat food products for human consumption. Pursuant to the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan developed and implemented by New England Meat Packing to comply with regulatory requirements, the company is required to perform one generic E. coli carcass swab for every 300 animals slaughtered and to periodically collect ground beef samples for E. coli testing.

Between November 3, 2016 and September 9, 2017, Beqiri authorized the preparation and submission in the company’s Lab Sample Report binder, which the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reviews, a total of 36 documents relating to 52 separate carcass swabs and ground beef samples on behalf of New England Meat Packing. The 36 documents were each on the letterhead of a certified laboratory that tests food product samples to ensure safety and wholesomeness and signed by the laboratory director. The documents stated that the required E. coli testing of samples submitted by New England Meat Packing had been conducted and completed, and that all 52 samples tested negative for E. coli. In fact, none of the 52 carcass swabs and samples had been submitted or tested by the identified laboratory, or any other laboratory, and the 36 documents were fraudulently prepared using laboratory letterhead obtained from previous testing that New England Meat Packing had conducted with that laboratory.

During the investigation of this matter, Beqiri admitted to an investigator with USDA’s FSIS that the documents were fraudulent, and that his business did not collect and submit the samples to the certified laboratory because he did not correlate the potential impact on food safety with his sampling program and wanted to create the appearance he was compliant with all USDA HACCP testing requirements.

There have been no known instances of illnesses reported by anyone who consumed the meat in any of the states where the meat was distributed.

On August 20, 2019, Beqiri pleaded guilty to one count of making and using a false document and aiding and abetting.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Office of Investigations, Enforcement and Audit. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Slater.

STATEMENTS OR ENTRIES GENERALLY, Making and Using a False Document

Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to two years of probation and was fined $15,000.00.

11/24/2020 48 PRESENTENCE INVESTIGATION REPORT (Revised) (SEALED - government and defense counsel) as to Memet Beqiri. (available to USA, Memet Beqiri) (Nagy, M.) (Entered: 11/24/2020)
11/24/2020 49 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Alvin W. Thompson: Sentencing as to Memet Beqiri held on 11/24/2020. Total Time: 1 hour and 43 minutes (Court Reporter C. Thompson.) (Ferguson, L.) (Entered: 11/24/2020)

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