Federal prosecutors allege that the owners of the former Rancho Feeding Corp. schemed with employees to slaughter and process cattle with cancer while hiding the actions from USDA inspectors. Slaughterhouse co-owners Jesse Amaral Jr. and Robert Singleton and employees Eugene Corda and Felix Cabrera were charged with distribution of adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat, reports ABC News.

After it was found that Rancho Feeding had processed unhealthy animals and circumvented USDA rules, the meat was recalled, and operations at the plant were shut down. More than 8.7 million pounds of beef were included in the recall.

Prosecutors said Cabrera and Corda were among those involved in slaughter of cows with skin cancer of the eye at Amaral and Singleton's instructions and concealing the disease from USDA inspectors, resulting in distribution of about 79 diseased cattle that did not undergo full inspection.

Cabrera, based on instructions from Amaral, also directed Rancho employees to carve stamps condemning cattle out of carcasses and to process them for transport and sale, prosecutors said. The indictment accused the company of distributing 101 of these carcasses.

Source: ABC News