Tomato broker faces racketeering, anti-trust charges
December 11, 2008
by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Randall Lee Rahal, a New Jersey processed-tomato products broker, has been charged with participating in conspiracies involving racketeering, price fixing, bid rigging and contract allocation, and money laundering in the processed-tomato products industry.
"This conduct deprived the purchasers of processed-tomato products of the benefits of a competitive marketplace, ultimately causing American consumers to pay higher prices for these everyday staples," said Deborah A. Garza, acting assistant attorney general for the Eastern District of California’s Antitrust Division. "The Antitrust Division will continue to prosecute vigorously those who defraud American consumers."
Mr. Rahal is the owner and president of Intramark USA, a New Jersey-based wholesaler of food ingredients, and the allegations state Mr. Rahal 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.
In his role with SK Foods it is alleged Mr. Rahal, with the knowledge and consent of other SK Foods’ leaders and employees, paid bribes to the purchasing agents of some of SK Foods’ customers in order to ensure decreased competition, inflated prices, and to force purchasing agents to turn over to SK Foods bidding information of the competition.
It is also alleged Mr. Rahal helped direct the sale of processed-tomato products to some of SK Foods’ customers that did not meet the quality and content specifications bargained for in customer contracts and falsified documentation in order to accomplish this.
Price fixing, allocate contracts and rig bids for the sale of processed-tomato products for SK Foods are other charges Mr. Rahal faces.
Currently, the charges are specifically against Mr. Rahal and not SK Foods.