A South Dakota livestock dealer has been ordered by federal authorities to pay a $20,000 fine for not paying $4.1 million on time for 2,210 head of cattle over a six-month period five years ago.

Keith Jensen, who does business as Keith Jensen Livestock near Langford, South Dakota, which is about 40 miles northeast of Aberdeen, “failed to timely pay for 2,210 head of livestock, totaling $4,070,098 from Sept. 11, 2014, through Feb. 12, 2015,” USDA officials said in a news release dated Sept. 23.

That’s an average price of about $1,840 per animal.

Under the consent decision, besides paying the $20,000 penalty, Keith Jensen Livestock “must cease and desist from failing to pay livestock dealers or their duly authorized representatives the full amount of the purchase price for livestock before the close of the next business day following each purchase of livestock,” according to USDA’s news release.

“Also, in the event Keith Jensen Livestock mails payments for future livestock purchases, payments are to be postmarked on the day after the scheduled date of the sale.” The Packers and Stockyard Act is aimed at promoting “fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat and poultry industries,” according to USDA.

A call to Jensen was not returned immediately, in time for this edition of the Capital Journal.

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