NEW YORK — Two Brooklyn meat wholesalers were charged in federal court for allegedly using counterfeit U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) stamps, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York announced on Sept. 24.

Howard Mora and Alan Buxbaum were accused of misbranding U.S.D.A. “Choice” beef products as higher quality U.S.D.A. “Prime” and selling those products at inflated prices. The indictment said they told employees to remove the “Choice” marking and stamp them with the “Prime” counterfeit mark.  

There is also a federal charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The two men were co-owners of A. Stein Meat Products Inc., a wholesale meat processing and distribution business before the business defaulted on its debts in October 2014.

“Customers and consumers are entitled to get what they pay for, especially when the product is food on their tables,” said United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue. “This office and our law enforcement partners will remain vigilant in enforcing laws that ensure the grade and quality of food products.” 

The New York Post reported that the two men pleaded not guilty and were released on a $250,000 bond each. Both Mr. Mora and Mr. Buxbaum could face 20 years in prison if they are convicted.