Saturday, 26 May, 2018

Bumble Bee CEO indicted for tuna price fixing

Chris Lischewski Chris Lischewski president and chief executive officer of Bumble Bee Seafoods in his office overlooking Petco Park
Jean Garcia | 17 May, 2018, 16:29

Christopher Lischewski was indicted by a San Francisco grand jury on one count of price fixing, with prosecutors alleging that from November 2010 to December 2013 he conspired with two major rivals to keep tuna prices artificially high.

Lischewski's lawyer, John Keker of San Francisco, disputed the accusation.

The San Diego-based company also agreed to cooperate with the Antitrust Division's ongoing investigation involving packaged seafood.

Bumble Bee, based in San Diego, pleaded guilty past year to a criminal charge of conspiring to fix tuna prices.

'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.

5 found dead inside Denton County home, 1 other injured
The Ponder Fire Department later confirmed that five people were found dead inside of the home, and another person was injured. The female survivor's condition is unknown at this time. "It's sad", neighbor Mark Downing said Wednesday.

"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.

The market for canned tuna across the USA has been dominated for a long time by just three companies. Both parties, as well as a Cayman Islands-registered holding company, Big Catch, which directly owns Bumble Bee, could possibly have to pay millions in damages if civil suits from tuna buyers are successful.

He is the fourth person to be charged in the federal price-fixing probe.

The one-count felony indictment charges that Lischewski carried out the conspiracy by agreeing to fix the prices during meetings and other communications. The largest is Chicken of the Sea owned by the Thai Union Group, while the second largest is Bumble Bee and then StarKist.

Stephen Hodge, who previously was an executive with StarKist, the tuna producer, was charged as well during May of 2017 with participating in the conspiracy to fix prices for canned tuna between 2011 and 2013.

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