The chief executive of San Diego-based Bumble Bee Foods has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Northern California for allegedly participating in a conspiracy to fix prices for packaged seafood sold in the United States.
Christopher Lischewski, president and chief executive officer of the iconic San Diego company, is the fourth person to be charged in the probe by the U.S. Justice Department’s Anti-Trust Division.
Lischewski’s attorney, John Keker of San Francisco-based Keker, Van Nest & Peters, said his client is innocent of the charges.
“Chris Lischewski is a decent and honorable man, who has lived a hardworking and ethical life,” said Keker in a statement. “He has been a leader and beacon within the seafood industry for more than twenty-five years. And most significantly on this dark day, he is innocent of any wrongdoing.”
Bumble Bee agreed in May last year to plead guilty to one count of price-fixing and to pay a criminal fine of $25 million.
The canned tuna market in the United States has long been dominated by three companies. Thai Union’s Chicken of the Sea is the largest, followed by Bumble Bee and StarKist. In December 2015, the Justice Department stopped Thai Union Group from buying Bumble Bee.
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