Keker Reps Indicted Bumble Bee Exec, Insists He's Innocent

Chris Lischewski

The Department of Justice alleged Lischewski and others conspired to issue price announcements and guidance to fix, raise and maintain the price of tuna from 2011 through 2013.

"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.

The market for canned tuna across the USA has been dominated for a long time by just three companies.

Lischewski is the fourth person to be charged in the ongoing investigation into the packaged seafood industry, which is being conducted by the Antitrust Division's San Francisco Office and the FBI's San Francisco Field Office. "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", said Keker.

Lischewski joined Bumble Bee in 1999 following an eight-year stint as a vice-president of procurement at rival Starkist.

In May of 2017, Bumble Bee reached an agreement to plead guilty to a single price-fixing count and pay a $25 million criminal fine. In December 2015, the Justice Department stopped Thai Union Group from buying Bumble Bee. Last year, two executives pleaded guilty to price fixing with Dongwan Enterprise-owned StarKist and Tri-Union Seafoods, the owner of Chicken of the Sea.

Christopher Lischewski was indicated by a San Francisco grand jury on one count of price fixing. Stephen Hodge, a former senior vice president for sales at StarKist, pleaded guilty previous year to price-fixing "American consumers deserve free enterprise, not fixed prices, so the department will not tolerate crimes like the one charged in today's indictment", Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said in a statement announcing Lischewski's indictment.

Bumble Bee and its co-defendants in the litigation are fighting the suits, asserting that the allegations are yet unproven.



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