Bumble Bee Ceo Indicted On Charge Of Price-Fixing Conspiracy

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 17, 2018

The CEO of Bumble Bee foods was indicted late Wednesday by a federal grand jury for his role in a conspiracy to fix tuna prices on the worldwide market.

A San Francisco grand jury has charged that Lischewski conspired with others in his industry from November 2010 to December 2013 to eliminate competition and set prices for canned tuna, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement Wednesday.

Past year the company itself pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco to one count of conspiring to fix prices and was sentenced to pay a $25 million fine.

Chris Lischewski, president and chief executive officer of Bumble Bee Seafoods, in his office overlooking Petco Park.

Lischewski's attorney, John Keker, said his client has lived a hardworking and ethical life and is innocent.

"The Antitrust Division is committed to prosecuting senior executives who unjustly profit at the expense of their customers", Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division said in a statement announcing the indictment. "When the facts are known and the truth emerges, Mr. Lischewski will be found not guilty, and that vindication will rightfully restore his good name".

The U.S. government began investigating price fixing of canned tuna between StarKist, Bumble Bee Foods and Chicken of the Sea more than two years ago.

"American consumers deserve free enterprise, not fixed prices, so the department will not tolerate crimes like the one charged in today's indictment", Delrahim said.

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