2000 sickened: Salmonella egg victims sought by feds, 4 years later

In 2010, eggs produced by farms owned by Jack DeCoster in Iowa sickened at least 2,000 people with Salmonella. The companies recalled 550 million eggs nationwide.

eggsalmonellaIn June, 2014, Austin “Jack” DeCoster, 79, and Peter DeCoster, 50, agreed to pay $7 million in fines and forfeitures as part of a federal criminal case.

Prosecutors allege Quality Egg on at least two occasions in 2010, including April 12, 2010, offered money to a “public official with intent to influence an official act.”

On April 12, 2010, Quality Egg employees offered a USDA inspector $300 to release eggs for sale that had failed to meet federal standards, according to criminal charges filed in 2012 against Tony Wasmund, a former Quality Egg employee.

Wasmund, 63, of Willmar, Minn., pleaded guilty in September 2012 to conspiring to bribe an egg inspector. His sentencing has been rescheduled four times, leading to speculation prosecutors were using his testimony against the DeCosters.

Today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa asked anyone from the public who got sick from the DeCoster- Salmonella eggs to come forward.

Anyone sickened by those eggs or otherwise hurt by the incident has the right to submit a Victim Impact Statement during the sentencing phase to explain how the crime affected them physically, emotionally or financially.  Impact Statements can be submitted online at www.justice.gov/usao/ian.