Ex-Bumble Bee CEO sentenced to 40 months in prison for price fixing

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June 16 (UPI) -- The former CEO and president of Bumble Bee Foods was sentenced to more than three years in prison for fixing prices on canned tuna, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Christopher Lischewski was sentenced to 40 months in prison and ordered to pay a $100,000 criminal fine for his role in a three-year antitrust price-fixing conspiracy.

"Executives who cheat American consumers out of the benefits of competition will be brought to justice, particularly when their antitrust crimes affect the most basic necessity, food," said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.

Lischewski was indicted in May 2019 on charges that he conspired with rival seafood companies to artificially inflate tuna prices.

He was found guilty in December and Bumble Bee agreed to plead guilty and to pay a criminal fine of at least $25 million as a result of an ongoing investigation by the government into the conspiracy.

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

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