Keker Reps Indicted Bumble Bee Exec, Insists He's Innocent

Galtero Lara
May 17, 2018

The president and CEO of Bumble Bee Foods was indicted by a federal grand jury for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices for packaged seafood sold in the United States, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

According to the indictment, Lischewski agreed to fix prices in meetings and other communications from November 2010 until December 2013.

Previous 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.

Christopher Lischewski, the fourth person to be charged in a federal price-fixing probe, was indicted in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, the department said in a statement. Two other Bumble Bee executives also have pleaded guilty. The other three pleaded guilty to the charge a year ago.

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John Keker, Lischewski's attorney, told the AP his client is innocent and that he will be vindicated.

"The Antitrust Division is committed to prosecuting senior executives who unjustly profit at the expense of their customers", said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. "When the facts are known and the truth emerges, Mr. Lischewski will be found not guilty". Thai Union Group Plc's Chicken of the Sea is the largest, followed by Bumble Bee and StarKist.

"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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