The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted Bumble Bee Foods’ CEO Chris Lischewski on allegations that he conspired with others to fix tuna prices from 2010 to 2013, the DOJ announced in a press release.
The indictment, filed in a San Francisco federal court, charges Lischewski with participating in a conspiracy to fix prices of packaged seafood beginning in or about November 2010 until December 2013.
“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 DOJ’s Antitrust Division said in a press release. “American consumers deserve free enterprise, not fixed prices, so the department will not tolerate crimes like the one charged in today’s indictment.”
Lischewski joined Bumble Bee in 1999 following an eight-year stint as a vice-president of procurement at rival StarKist & Co. UK-based Lion Capital bought a majority stake in Bumble Bee in 2010 for US$980 million. 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.
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