Processed tomato broker pleads guilty to charges
December 18, 2008
by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Randall Lee Rahal has entered a guilty plea for participating in conspiracies involving racketeering, price fixing, bid rigging and contract allocation, and money laundering in the processed tomato industry.
In addition, Mr. Rahal agreed to hand over $600,000 in illicit funds to the government and to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.
Mr. Rahal is the owner and president of Intramark USA, a New Jersey-based wholesaler of food ingredients. As such, he was a sales broker for SK Foods, a grower and processor of tomato products in California. SK Foods has customers in the food-product manufacturer, distributor and retail channels throughout the United States.
Mr. Rahal admitted SK Foods and its corporate entities formed a racketeering enterprise, which became an organization Mr. Rahal and other SK Foods leaders and employees furthered through various illicit activities. He admitted to paying bribes on behalf of SK Foods to purchasing agents of many SK Foods’ customers. These bribes were made with the knowledge and sometimes the direction of SK Foods’ leaders.
Mr. Rahal also admitted to having assisted SK Foods in knowingly selling processed tomato product to a customer that did not meet customer specifications and having a role in a conspiracy between SK Foods and others in the processed tomato industry to fix prices, allocate contracts and rig bids for products.
Sentencing is set for March 3.