Former manager: Peanut plant owner knew false reports were sent - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Former manager: Peanut plant owner knew false reports were sent

Sign at the Peanut Corporation of America Sign at the Peanut Corporation of America
Witness Samuel Lightsey Witness Samuel Lightsey
Defendant Michael Parnell (in white shirt) Defendant Michael Parnell (in white shirt)
Defendant Stewart Parnell (in pink shirt) Defendant Stewart Parnell (in pink shirt)
Federal investigators outside the peanut plant in Blakely Federal investigators outside the peanut plant in Blakely
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A former plant manager says at least one official of a Georgia peanut plant knowingly shipped products with false reports to large companies like Kellogg's.

Samuel Lightsey testified in court Friday morning that he learned Michael Parnell was shipping products to Kellogg's with false Certificates of Analysis, and tried to stop it, but was told, "Don't worry about it."

He also testified that he understood his actions hurt people and that's why he pleaded guilty in May.

Former Peanut Corp. of America owner Stewart Parnell, his food broker brother Michael Parnell, and Georgia plant quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson are on trial in U.S. District Court, charged with shipping peanuts contaminated with salmonella and covering up tests that showed the bacteria was present.

Nine people died and more than 700 were sickened in the outbreak that happened five years ago.

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