Supply company accused of diluting spices sold to prisons

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Pennsylvania-based supply company is accused of diluting spices sold to prisons across the country.

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The Post and Courier reports federal prosecutors in South Carolina have filed a false claims lawsuit against FlavorPros LLC. It says FlavorPros cut spices with flour, starch and other fillers to underbid competitors for $500,000 in federal procurement contracts.

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FlavorPros was owned by Charlene Brach, of New Jersey. She was charged last year with adulterating and misbranding spices sold to 122 prisons nationwide. Brach denied guilt on Tuesday and said her company wouldn't have been responsible if spices were diluted.

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Brach later started another supply company, Artisan Foods LLC, allegedly to avoid scrutiny of FlavorPros.