SAN FRANCISCO — A second executive with San Diego-based Bumble Bee Foods, L.L.C. has agreed to plead guilty in connection with a conspiracy to fix the prices of packaged seafood such as canned tuna sold in the United States, the Department of Justice said on Dec. 21.
Kenneth Worsham, the company’s senior vice-president of trade marketing, agreed to the charge and also agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the D.O.J.’s ongoing investigation.
Mr. Worsham’s guilty plea comes two weeks after Walter Scott Cameron, Bumble Bee Foods senior vice-president of sales, agreed to similar charges.
According to the charge, Mr. Worsham and his co-conspirators discussed the prices of packaged seafood sold in the United States and agreed to fix the prices of those products. Mr. Worsham and his co-conspirators negotiated prices and issued price announcements for packaged seafood in accordance with the agreements they reached.
|Renata Hesse, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division|
“The Antitrust Division and its law enforcement partners are once again sending a strong signal that high-ranking executives responsible for fixing the price of shelf-stable tuna must be held accountable,” said Renata Hesse, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “We will continue our work to root out the collusion among packaged seafood companies that targeted American consumers.”The D.O.J. investigation into the price fixing first came to light in July 2015, when Thai Union, which in 2014 had announced plans to acquire Bumble Bee Foods for $1.5 billion, canceled a share offering upon hearing news that an investigation was under way.