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L.A. Now Live: Kosher market targeted in USDA probe, lawsuit

April 03, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched an investigation into the Dohoney Glatt Kosher meat market as the controversy enters the court system.

Join us at 9 a.m. as we discuss the latest on this small-business controversy with Times reporter Matt Stevens.

The owner of Doheny, Michael Engelman, faces accusations of selling meat that was not properly certified under kosher rules. Last week, a council of rabbis pulled Doheny's kosher certification and, in a statement Friday, raised the possibility of legal action.

A Los Angeles man filed a class-action lawsuit against the market and its owner Tuesday, seeking unspecified damages and alleging fraud, false advertising and other charges.

Joshua Fard, 30, of Beverly Hills has three children and said he and his family bought meat from Doheny on a quarterly basis.

“This is a deeply held religious belief that he has,” Fard’s attorney said.

On Tuesday, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service confirmed the Doheny market is under investigation, adding yet another item to its mounting pile of problems. Officials declined to provide additional details because the investigation is ongoing.

Eric Agaki, a private investigator whose video recordings ignited the kosher meat controversy, said he met with USDA investigators March 25 and gave them materials he had collected during his own investigation.

Though the exact nature of the USDA’s investigation was not clear, Agaki said investigators told him that USDA boxes are not supposed to be repacked.

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