Former Bumblebee Foods CEO found guilty of conspiracy to fix tuna prices

Dec. 3 (UPI) — A jury found the former CEO of Bumblebee Foods guilty of attempting to manipulate the price of canned tuna, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Christopher Lischewski was convicted of participating in a conspiracy to fix prices of canned tuna in the United States between November 2010 and December 2013.

“The jury’s verdict is a reminder that no one, including members of the C-Suite, is above the law. Executives who conspire to cheat consumers for their own benefit will be held accountable for their illegal conduct,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said.

Lischewski was indicted in May on charges that he conspired with rival seafood companies to artificially inflate tuna prices.

Bumble Bee agreed to plead guilty and to pay a criminal fine of at least $25 million as a result of the government’s ongoing investigation.

Fellow canned tuna company StarKist was also sentenced to pay a $100 million criminal fine, and three other individuals pleaded guilty and testified in Lischewski’s trial.

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said its investigation into collusion in the packaged seafood market is ongoing.