The president and chief executive of Bumble Bee Foods LLC has been indicted by a federal grand jury in California on charges he conspired to fix prices for packaged seafood sold in the United States, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.
"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", Keker said in a statement.
In a separate action, retail giant Walmart filed a civil suit last year claiming that the industry illegally set canned tuna prices over a five-year period. "And most significantly on this dark day, he is innocent of any wrongdoing", the lawyer said.More news: Mohamed Salah boots to be displayed in British Museum
On May 9 of 2017, Bumble Bee itself pleaded guilty to one count of felony price fixing and agreed to pay a $25-million fine for its role in "a continuing agreement, understanding, and concert of action among the defendant and [unnamed] coconspirators, the substantial terms of which were to fix, raise, and maintain prices of packaged seafood", beginning at least as early as the first quarter of 2011 and continuing until at least the fourth quarter of 2013.
Lischewski could face up to 10 years in prison and more than $1 million dollars in fines if he is found guilty.
"American consumers deserve free enterprise, not fixed prices, so the department will not tolerate crimes like the one charged in today's indictment", Delrahim added.More news: Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan agree to study filling of Nile dam
The US Department of Justice said in a filing yesterday (16 May) the charges relate to price fixing that began around November 2010 and lasted through December 2013, which suggests the case surrounding US seafood group Bumble Bee and other executives may date back longer than previously thought. The lawsuit alleges price-fixing allegations against Bumble Bee, StarKist & Co., and Tri Union Seafoods.
The CEO of Bumble Foods has been charged with fixing the price of canned tuna as part of a wider conspiracy that would have pushed up costs for shoppers.
Two of the company's executives, Kenneth Worsham and Walter Cameron, have pleaded guilty to price-fixing charges but have yet to be sentenced.More news: Bashar al-Assad has travelled to Russian Federation to meet Vladimir Putin
Two other executives at Bumble Bee Foods have pleaded guilty in the price-fixing scheme, and previous year the firm agreed to pay a $25 million fine after pleading guilty to price fixing.