Monday, February 2, 2009

Kraft Foods and Frito-Lay Buyers Plead Guilty to Accepting Bribes from Tomato Processor



Purchasing managers for Kraft and Frito-Lay recently agreed to plead guilty to accepting bribes of over $150,000 each in return for helping SK Foods sell its processed tomatoes to their companies at inflated prices.

According to prosecutors, Kraft bought about 230 million pounds of processed tomato products from SK Foods at inflated prices between 2004 and 2008, and Frito-Lay purchased tomato products at inflated prices between 1998 and 2008. The purchasing managers provided information to SK Foods that assisted it in securing contracts at higher prices. According to Kraft and Frito-Lay, none of their other employees were involved in the scheme. Safeway, ConAgra, Agusa, and B&G Foods allegedly had buyers who also accepted bribes from SK Foods. The SK Foods sales broker involved in the scheme pleaded guilty on December 16 to racketeering, price fixing, bid rigging, and contract allocation conspiracies.

The DOJ press release regarding the plea agreements is available here.

Related posts: Trade Associations Investigated for Possible Antitrust Violations; Antitrust Compliance Policies Can Help Prevent or Limit Liability.

 

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