May 26, 2024

Parnell Brothers Taken into Custody

On Friday, September 19, 2014, brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell were taken to the Crisp County Jail in Cordele, Georgia. After conviction last week on multiple counts of mail fraud and other felonies in relation to the 2008 Salmonella outbreak linked to PCA peanut butter, they did not post secured bail. Mary Wilkerson, who was convicted on one count of obstruction of justice, was not jailed.

GavelAttorney Fred Pritzker, who represented clients in a lawsuit against PCA, said about Stewart Parnell, “If anybody deserved it, he did. I am not at all surprised he was found guilty given the evidence against him. I don’t view Parnell’s conduct as any different than poisoning people or drunk driving. My strong suspicion is that this happens much more often than is known.”

Stewart Parnell was convicted on 76 felony counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, and introduction of contaminated food into commerce. Michael Parnell was found guilty on 30 counts of wire and mail fraud, and introducing misbranded products into interstate commerce. Plant managers falsified test results to satisfy customers who demanded it, then shipped product contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. The prosecution showed lab reports, emails, shipping records, and other documents to prove intent to defraud and obstruction of justice.

The 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak linked to Peanut Corporation of America’s peanut butter and peanut products sickened at least 714 and killed nine people. This is the first time corporate executives were convicted in court after an outbreak. Pritzker said, “this prosecution sends the right message to food producers: you need to take personal responsibility for the products you sell.”



  1. The food industry will not learn anything from these convictions, and it will continue to be business as usual for them. Greed and corruption will always win out over safety and common decency. Corporations win, consumers lose. And it can be our health and even our lives that we lose.

Report Your Food Poisoning Case

Error: Contact form not found.


Home About Site Map Contact Us Sponsored by Pritzker Hageman, P.A., a Minneapolis, MN law firm that helps food poisoning victims nationally.