Second SK Foods exec to plead guilty

by Eric Schroeder
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SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Alan S. Huey, former senior vice-president for Monterey, Calif.-based SK Foods, L.P., became the second SK Foods senior executive to be charged in connection with a tomato industry pricing scheme. He has agreed to plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy involving honest services fraud and causing the introduction and delivery for introduction of adulterated and misbranded food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead.

Mr. Huey, who was vice-president for strategic planning and senior vice-president for sales and marketing at SK Foods between 2004 and 2008, admitted in documents filed Nov. 4 with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division that, at the direction of a senior leader of SK Foods, he routinely falsified and directed other SK Foods employees to falsify the various grading factors and data contained on certificates of analysis and other quality control documents that accompanied customer-bound shipments of tomato product that was produced, purchased and sold by SK Foods.

In the Nov. 4 filing, Mr. Huey admitted that over a four-year period SK Foods routinely shipped adulterated and/or misbranded tomato product to at least 45 different customer victims in 22 different states. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted on the conspiracy charge.

In August, Jeffrey S. Beasley, former vice-president at SK Foods, pled guilty to participating in honest services and mislabeling conspiracies.

Both Mr. Huey and Mr. Beasley are cooperating in the government’s ongoing investigation.

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